There will be a TikTok ban on all Australian Government devices “as soon as practicable” following an announcement by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus today.
Other governments in Australia are expected to follow suit.
The Victorian Government has already said it will also be banning TikTok from its devices. Premier Daniel Andrews has said he will delete his personal account.
Why the TikTok ban?
Australia’s top security agencies advised the Attorney-General’s Department that TikTok carried a “significant protective security risk” to the Federal Government. It stems from data-sharing concerns between TikTok’s Chinese owners, ByteDance, and the Chinese Government.
The Australian public will still be able to freely use TikTok on their personal devices.
Shadow Cyber Security Minister James Paterson welcomed the ban. He said the “threat posed by TikTok to the millions of other Australian users” should now be addressed.
TikTok’s response to the ban
General Manager of TikTok Australia and New Zealand, Lee Hunter, said they were “extremely disappointed” by the decision. They said it was “driven by politics, not by fact”.
Hunter said they weren’t informed of the ban before it was publicly announced, and said there was “no evidence” to suggest TikTok was “in any way a security risk to Australians”.
“Our millions of Australian users deserve a government which makes decisions based upon facts and who treats all businesses fairly, regardless of country of origin.”
Is there a TikTok ban in other countries?
Australia joins governments in the U.S., UK, Canada, and New Zealand in banning TikTok on government devices. The European Union has also imposed a similar ban.
There are already bans in the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.