The UK Parliament has shut down the TikTok account after MPs raised concerns over allegations the company passed data to the Chinese government.
Several members wrote to speakers in both the Commons and Lords last week calling for the social media account to be delisted, saying they were “surprised and disappointed” that it was rolled out after “reports”. Recent reports have made it clear that … TikTok data is regularly transferred to China”.
But TikTok confirmed to Sky News that it does not operate in China, has never provided user data to the Chinese government, and that its user data is stored in the US and Singapore – moving to Ireland in 2014. 2023 when their new data center opens.
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The lead author of the letter, Tory MP Nus Ghani, tweeted the letter, which said that despite being questioned by the business selection committee, TikTok executives “were unable to reassure MPs” that the company can prevent the transfer of data” to its parent company, China. based on ByteDance.
She said if the company requests and receives it, “Bytedance will be legally obligated to hand over UK data to the PRC [People’s Republic of China] if required”.
The letter, also signed by former leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat and former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, among others, added: “Prospects Xi Jinping’s government has access to data individuals on our children’s phones must be a cause for great concern.”
In their response, Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Lord McFall said the account was “an attempt to appeal to a younger audience – who are not always active on their existing social media platforms.” us – in relation to the affairs of parliament”.
But they added that they were “not consulted on plans for this pilot project”.
They said, after conversations with officials and in the letter, “we have decided that the account should be closed immediately.”
Sir Iain told Sky News he had “crossed the moon” over the decision, adding: “It should have never been opened in the first place, but it’s a good thing they figured it out.”
Ms Ghani also thanked the speakers on Twitter for “standing up for our values and protecting our data”, adding: “Common sense prevails.”
TikTok said it had written to the MPs who signed the letter, offering to “meet with them to understand their concerns and explain our data protection procedures”.
The social media platform also points to the fact that many departments and politicians use TikTok, including Number 10 and Culture Minister Nadine Dorries.
A TikTok spokesperson said: “While it’s disappointing that Parliament will no longer be able to connect with the millions of TikTok users in the UK, we reiterate this offer to reassure members of the public. Members of Congress raised concerns and clarified any inaccuracies about our platform.”