Is TikTok less secure than Facebook and Instagram?

Is TikTok less secure than Facebook and Instagram?

Government officials will soon not be allowed to have TikTok on their work phones. Secretary of State Van Haflen writes this in a letter to the House of Representatives. The ban will come into force soon, but until then the use of the app will not be discouraged in any way.

Increased espionage risk

“The bottom line is that the AIVD says: ‘A specific risk applies to any application'”, says Castelijn. “There are only so many countries that carry out cyber attacks against the Netherlands. These are Russia, Iran, but also China.” According to the journalist, the AIVD talks about the increased espionage risk and therefore wants the government to be extra careful when using TikTok.

Other uses are no less dangerous. “TikTok is made in China. That’s why it’s one of the apps that won’t be allowed soon.” When it comes to privacy, the app can be compared to Instagram and Facebook, for example, Kastelijn says. But “when it comes to spying, we have a different relationship with China and Russia than the U.S. And that doesn’t mean the U.S. doesn’t spy. But we have a different relationship.”

Ban on workplace phones

There’s a small chance you’ll be tapped at home with TikTok, but that’s reason enough for the government to ban the use on government employees’ work phones.

And all this can be arranged with specialized management software, says the tech journalist. “It’s basically an app that you install on your phone, and once that app is running, the national government controls what you can and can’t install on your phone.” Incidentally, this only applies to government employees’ work phones and not their personal devices.

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Commercial companies

Of course, the government is not the only one that has to do the risk assessment. The business community also faces a dilemma. “We toured almost 50 major employers,” says Castelijn. Of the roughly 30 companies that responded, none imposed a ban.

“But some parties may have already taken steps,” continues the tech journalist. For example, you should think about chip machine maker ASML. The company’s information is very interesting for China. “You can imagine they have some tough needs.”

Listen to the conversation with Nando Kastelijin below:

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