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BBC tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones

BBC tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones

The BBC is pressing its staffers to scrub TikTok from any work devices amid allegations that the Chinese company that owns the app has been spying on journalists.

The news site and broadcaster issued the no-TikTok guidance to employees on Sunday, according to a Deadline report — just days after the UK banned the Chinese-owned social media platform from government phones over security concerns.

“We don’t recommend installing TikTok on a BBC corporate device unless there is a justified reason,” the BBC said in a Sunday memo sent out to its employees and obtained by Deadline.

The company cited “concerns raised by government authorities worldwide regarding data privacy and security” in its reasoning for the request.

The BBC — which has several editorial accounts on the platform to share news and entertainment videos — didn’t rule out banning the use of TikTok altogether, according to the memo.

TikTok on phone
The government-run broadcasting agency is worried about privacy since TikTok is a Chinese-owned social media platform.

In a Q&A section, the broadcaster posed the question: “Will the BBC ban the use of TikTok on corporate devices, or my personal device that I use for BBC work purposes?”

“We are currently reviewing the TikTok concerns and will provide further updates based on the government and National Cyber Security Centre guidelines,” the BBC said in its answer.

A spokesperson for TikTok told Deadline the social media company was disappointed with the guidance issued by BBC, which they said has “a strong presence” on the platform, including news and music accounts.

TikTok argued the bans were based on misconceptions rather than facts.

“We believe these bans have been based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics,” the spokesperson told the outlet. “We remain in close dialogue with the BBC and are committed to working with them to address any concerns they have.”

Across the pond, the Biden administration has threatened to ban the popular video-sharing app in the US unless its Chinese owners sell their stakes amid bipartisan concerns that the social media platform poses a national security threat.

The Justice Department is reportedly investigating claims that app’s parent company ByteDance has been utilizing user data to spy on US tech journalists.