New Zealand MPs told to delete TikTok over security concerns

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 Aug 2020, 9:49PM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

New Zealand MPs told to delete TikTok over security concerns

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 Aug 2020, 9:49PM

Kiwi MPs and parliamentary staffers have been advised to delete social media app TikTok over security concerns.

The cybersecurity team sent a directive to MPs and parliamentary staffers saying TikTok poses "significant privacy and security risks", and strongly recommends anyone who uses the app to delete it, according to a leaked directive obtained by Newshub.

The move comes as US President Donald Trump considers banning the popular video app following concerns the Chinese government could be using it to spy on citizens.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently used TikTok to reach voters after making an appearance alongside comedian lookalike Melanie Bracewell.

National MP Nicola Willis and Act's David Seymour have also made appearances on the app.

Ardern told media outside Parliament she's mindful of the risks.

"I'm always mindful, given the job that I do of security issues when it comes to the use of apps or forms of communication."

Labour MP Kris Faafoi revealed he doesn't understand TikTok and says he's removed it from his phone.

However, Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick saw the funny side of the directive, saying: "I feel like I'm too old for it."

Seymour said: "I once did a dance for a TikTok video, and it's the most dangerous thing I've done involving TikTok."

Chris Hipkins and Ashley Bloomfield revealed they do not use TikTok.

According to Newshub, the GCSB said there has not been specific advice from the Government Chief Information Security Officer on the use of TikTok.

In a statement, they said they are not aware of widespread work-related use of TikTok in the public service.

TikTok issued a statement following Trump's calls to ban the app in the US, saying "While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok."

Its Chinese ownership has raised concerns about the censorship of videos, including those critical of the Chinese government, and the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials.