Ireland risk-averse to TikTok on official devices

The National Cyber Security Centre of Ireland warns government agencies to avoid using TikTok on official devices, amid global concerns about the app’s potential security risks and TikTok’s data collection practices.

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The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of Ireland has recommended that staff in government departments and state agencies refrain from using TikTok on official devices; however, politicians are not barred from using it on their personal devices.

Ireland adds to the growing Transatlantic bans on TikTok, an app owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance. Cybersecurity officials claim that the perceived risks associated with allowing government departments and state agencies staff to house the app on official devices can have devastating implications, particularly in the realm of politics.

Recently, the United States, Britain and several European Union member states have led the way in issuing bans on the app, stating a number of risk factors, known and anticipated. The Director of Ireland’s National Security Centre, Richard Brown, stated that the reason for the ban would be more in keeping with unknown unknowns. TikTok, he surmised, sits among apps that collect the highest amount of user data.

Last month, ByteDance announced its intention to add yet another data centre in Ireland to reduce data transfer outside of the EU.