The ABC is reviewing its use of TikTok following the federal government’s ban of the social media app on government-issued devices.
The ABC currently publishes news and a range of other content across its three TikTok accounts. While the government’s ban, announced yesterday, only applies to non-corporate government entities, such as SBS, Australia Post, NBN Co, and the ABC it is likely to have a knock-on effect on those businesses.
An ABC spokesperson confirmed that it was reviewing its use of the platform.
“The ABC will review current use of the platform on ABC devices following the government’s decision to prohibit the TikTok app on devices issued by commonwealth departments and agencies,” a spokesperson said.
“The ABC has a suite of cybersecurity protocols, which include measures and policies relating to the use of social media applications on ABC devices.”
The spokesperson also said that it had an “ongoing dialogue” with the Australian Cyber Security Centre on threats and vulnerabilities and that it would work with the government as more information about the ban becomes available.
Australia Post said that it was also reviewing its use of TikTok. NBN Co said it had stopped using TikTok for corporate social media comms earlier this year and that it was reviewing the use of TikTok by employees on company-issued devices.
SBS declined to comment on whether it was reviewing its use of the platform.
The government said that TikTok poses a “significant” security threat and has “privacy risks” for non-corporate Commonwealth organisations given the app’s “extensive” user data collection and “exposure to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law.”
However, exemptions are available for government entities that can demonstrate a “legitimate business reason” for using the application. This could include countering misinformation and disinformation or to “reach key audiences to undertake marketing or public relations activity on behalf of the entity.”
TikTok’s Australia and New Zealand general manager, Lee Hunter said that there “is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is in any way a security risk to Australians and should not be treated differently to other social media platforms.”
The Australian government’s decision mirrors those of the other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, Canada, the US, the UK and New Zealand.
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