Don’t Use TikTok, China Misusing Data, Warns UK MP

Don't use TikTok, China misuses data, warns UK MP

“We want to make it clear that they can trust us with their data,” TikTok said in a response.


The head of an influential British parliamentary committee on Sunday advised people not to use Chinese social media app TikTok because of data security concerns.

“There’s a reason why China has this app…” Conservative vice chair Alicia Kearns, chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told Sky News broadcaster.

“Our data is a critical vulnerability and China is building a totalitarian state in technology based on our data. So we have to be much more serious about protecting ourselves. .”

Kearns was referring to the recent incident in which the United States shot down a Chinese hot air balloon off the country’s Atlantic coast. China has denied US accusations that it is being used for espionage.

Kearns said the bigger concern is “data intrusion” through Chinese companies and how Beijing is using that data to intimidate “those seeking refuge in the UK and around the world”. .

When asked if she was saying that people should remove TikTok from their phones, she replied: “Without a doubt… It’s not worth having that hole on your phone. “

Kearns has long criticized China’s intelligence activities and what she says is the country’s misuse of technology to achieve that end.

A spokesperson for TikTok responded to Kearns’ allegations on Sunday.

“TikTok is loved by millions of people across the UK and we wanted to make it clear that they can trust us with their data.

“We are taking steps such as storing UK user data in our data center operations in Ireland, starting this year; further reducing employee data access and minimize data flows outside of Europe.”

Relations between London and Beijing have been strained for years.

Points of contention include China’s crackdown in the former British colony of Hong Kong and Britain’s refusal to grant Chinese company Huawei access to its 5G network over security concerns.

Last October, a UK-based Hong Kong democracy activist accused Chinese diplomats of assaulting him during a protest outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester, northern England. .

In the ensuing diplomatic spat, six Chinese envoys left Britain and returned to China. Kearns at the time accused them of “running away from the UK like cowards, making their sins clear”.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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