Australia announced on Tuesday that it will ban TikTok on all government devices due to escalating national security concerns. The country now joins an ever-growing list of nations cracking down on the Chinese-owned app. This move comes after warnings from Western officials that China could use the Beijing-based ByteDance-owned app to spy on users and manipulate public discourse.
Australian Attorney General Mark Dreyfus confirmed on Tuesday that the ban would take effect “as soon as possible.” However, some individuals may be exempted depending on the security risk they pose. With this development, Australia becomes the latest member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance to implement such restrictions, following the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand.
The decision to ban TikTok on government devices in Australia underscores the growing global concern about the potential for misuse of the popular app by the Chinese government. As more countries continue to take action against TikTok, the debate surrounding data privacy and national security is likely to intensify, potentially affecting the future of the app’s global presence.