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Czech cybersecurity office calls TikTok a security threat

28.03.2023
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The Czech National Agency for Cyber and Information Security (NUKIB) has issued a warning that TikTok could spy on the data the user has installed on the device, and warns against installing the app on devices used to access critical information and communication infrastructure. They also recommend that politicians and decision-makers refrain from using the app, saying that the Chinese-owned social media app collects and stores data that could pose a potential security risk.

In an official statement, NUKIB said: "The agency is concerned about the potential security threat posed by the use of TikTok, mainly due to the amount of user data collected by the app and the way the data is handled. Such large-scale data collection is worrying due to the legal and political environment of the People's Republic of China (PRC), as ByteDance, the developer and administrator of TikTok, falls under the legal jurisdiction of the PRC". Lukäs Kintr, the director of the Cybersecurity Office, confirmed that they had issued the warning based on a comprehensive analysis of information they had received about the TikTok app, as well as from credible public sources and allies.

The Czech Republic could join the United States, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Council in banning its employees from installing TikTok apps on their phones or work devices. TikTok subscribers who don't fall under the administration and security cadre are free to use the app if they wish.

ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, has denied harvesting sensitive information from its users, saying that the misconceptions about the app are false. Beijing has also denied using the app for espionage, despite being accused and singled out by the Czech National Intelligence Service (BIS) as a major threat to its (Czech) cyberspace.