Following the UK government’s ban on TikTok, the BBC is considering banning TikTok for its employees.
The BBC has issued new guidance to its staff telling them to remove the app from their work phones unless they use it for editorial or marketing purposes. This is a notable rejection of the app for an organization that has hired social media specialists to distribute its messages to TikTok.
A TikTok spokesperson said he was disappointed by the BBC’s decision, repeating the same phrase the company used when asked about government bans. TikTok says it believes national security concerns are “based on fundamental misconceptions” about the app’s security risks. But there have already been several well-documented cases where Chinese ByteDance engineers had backdoor access to American TikTok data. TikTok was also caught collecting data from the users’ clipboard and promised that it would not do this anymore, okay guys? Trust us.
The BBC guidance provided to staff states that following “concerns raised by government authorities around the world regarding privacy and data security,” the new action is to remove the app. The Q&A section for the guide asks if the BBC will ban the use of TikTok on personal devices. “We are currently reviewing TikTok’s issues and will provide further updates based on recommendations from the government and the National Cybersecurity Center,” the response reads.
The BBC is not the only media corporation monitoring how it uses the platform. Last week, the Danish public broadcaster DR advised its employees to stop using the app. News agencies and media organizations are investigating TikTok’s role in their reporting after news broke that TikTok data of American journalists is being monitored by ByteDance employees.
“We believe these groups were based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by broader geopolitics,” a TikTok spokesperson says of the new BBC leadership. “We remain in close dialogue with the BBC and are committed to working with them to address any concerns they have.”