TikTok, a video-sharing app owned by China-based ByteDance Ltd., is banned from government devices in Brazil for at least six months. It is against the backdrop of worries over misinformation, privacy, and cyber security, according to the prime minister of Brazil. It reflects the same security and privacy concerns echoed by those governments in the EU and the US.
Misinformation leads to a ban on government devices in Brazil
In today’s world news from BNN, TikTok is temporarily suspended for use on devices paid for or owned by the federal government. The ban will be in force for at least six months in Brazil. Reacting to the decision of the Brazilian government, TikTok expressed disappointment over the ban and said it was based on misinformation about it.
TikTok, which has had its headquarters in Singapore since 2020, also said its executives will be ready to discuss with government officials to allay fears and remove misconceptions. It said its parent company is established outside China. The video-sharing app will maintain a distance from its roots in China. Global investors hold a majority stake in TikTok, according to the latest communiqué from the company.
The defense ministry in Denmark and three main institutions in the EU have ordered employees to remove TikTok from their devices, which are used for official purposes. A similar ban is also imposed on TikTok in the US and Canada. The latest stint is a tussle between the US and its western allies and China for economic and technological supremacy.
The ban on TikTok in Brazil is based on warnings received from its cybersecurity center and the state security service, which mentioned the video-sharing app, could steal data from its users in Brazil. According to their perception, TikTok could modify the algorithms to spread misinformation and news. The security agencies also warned the app could be forced by China to spy on activities in the nation.
In an online statement, Alexander de Croo said the surveillance and influence between the states in the current geopolitical context have leaned toward the digital world. It is common sense to ban Chinese-owned TikTok on government devices. TikTok must cooperate with its intelligence services.
Stores user data in Singapore and the US
In the latest BNN news, TikTok said the data of the users is stored in Singapore and the US. It also takes new measures like establishing data centers in the EU to store European users’ data and address the concerns raised by the security agencies and intelligence chiefs on the continent. In a statement released on Thursday, TikTok said the Chinese government cannot force it to share the data of users in another sovereign nation.
Cerebral inadvertently share sensitive data of 3.1 million patients
A telehealth startup focusing on mental health, Cerebral, has said it shared sensitive data about more than 3.1 million patients with TikTok, Meta, and Google. It also shared the data with other third-party advertisers. In a note posted on its website, the company admitted to sharing patient data, which includes phone numbers, names, treatment, appointment dates, insurance information, IP addresses, etc. It could also have leaked answers filled in by the clients in a self-assessment form on its app and website.