Washington: Calling it a ‘security threat’, the US Army has banned soldiers from using the popular video app TikTok on all government-owned phones. This precautionary move comes days after the US Navy too prohibited the use of TikTok on government phones because of cyber-security concerns.
However, the Army cannot ban its personnel from using TikTok on their personal phones.
“It is considered a cyber threat. We do not allow it on government phones,” Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, an Army spokesperson, told Military.com.
The app was immensely popular within the US military so much so that the Army was using it as a recruitment tool as recently as November.
However, the app was under constant scrutiny due to concerns that the Chinese government could use it for spying.
“There was a Cyber Awareness Message sent out on 16 December that identifies TikTok as having potential security risks associated with its use. The message directs appropriate action for employees to take in order to safeguard their personal information. The guidance is to be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts etc. and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information”, an Army spokesperson told CNET.
Notably, TikTok, designed by Beijing-based tech company ByteDance, became the first Chinese-owned app to reach No. 1 in the US Apple App Store last November.