Prague City Hall bans TikTok usage on employees' work devices

The city is also recommending that employees delete the Chinese application for personal use as well. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 15.03.2023 10:06:00 (updated on 15.03.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague City Hall has forbidden its staff from using the Chinese social media app TikTok on their work devices and recommended that they delete it from their private cell phones for security reasons. Prague will ask municipal firms and organizations to impose the ban as well.

The National Cyber and Information Security Office (NÚKIB) recently warned against installing and using TikTok on devices with access to the systems belonging to critical information infrastructure and also warned the public against using the popular app.

Do you plan to uninstall TikTok?

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“As for the devices with access to the City Hall’s information and communication system, we have banned our employees who use a work cell phone or tablet from using TikTok, and require them to uninstall the TikTok app from these devices,” City Hall spokesman Tadeáš Provazník told ČTK.

City Hall also recommended that the social media app be uninstalled from private cell phones and tablets by the employees who access city systems from private devices. A system attack via a privately owned device could result in legal action against the owner, Provazník said.

City Hall does not have any official TikTok account nor does it plan to establish one, and all municipal organizations are urged to follow the same approach.

Security concerns for users

The security firm Eset says TikTok, with 2 million users in Czechia and over 1 billion worldwide, collects a large amount of sensitive data and all the content created by the users. It also monitors personal conversations between users and their style of writing. The profile that is created can be used to identify a user online on other platforms.

U.S.-based magazine Wired also recently addressed security issues, as the U.S. government is also planning restrictions on TikTok. The military and some federal agencies banned it already in 2019 and 2020. The magazine pointed out that aside from data mining concerns, the app can also be used to promote Chinese agendas.

“With so many users, TikTok is clearly a potentially rich source of personal data and could be exploited in the way other social platforms have been to spread disinformation or promote influence operations,” Wired said.

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