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Is time up for TikTok on government phones?

Is time up for TikTok on government phones?

Monday 20 March 2023

Is time up for TikTok on government phones?

Monday 20 March 2023

Ministers are considering whether to ban popular video app TikTok on government work devices on security grounds after the UK announced it would be doing so last week.

Assistant Chief Minister with responsibility for Modernisation and Digital, Deputy Alex Curtis, confirmed to Express on Friday that whether the security policy was needed was being examined.

He said that Jersey's government is "aware of the UK Government’s decision to ban TikTok on Government-owned devices" and the consideration of a ban in Jersey was "part of a wider policy review."

It's unclear whether any ban will affect the Government's communications to its 1,144 followers on the popular video platform.

Deputy Curtis added that "the Government of Jersey currently uses Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, as well as TikTok, to engage directly with islanders who use these social media channels to both obtain information and ask questions of their government."


Pictured: social media app TikTok could be banned on government phones as part of a wider policy review.

In the UK, the Cabinet Office ordered a security review after the government feared sensitive data held on official phones could be accessed by the Chinese government.

Cabinet Minister Oliver Dowden said the ban was a "precautionary" move but would come into effect immediately.

Matt Palmer, Director of CERT.JE (The Cyber Security Centre for Jersey), said the organisation "routinely provides advice to the Government of Jersey on cyber security matters", but he was not able to comment at this stage on whether a government device ban was officially recommended.

He clarified: "We are not advising individual islanders to stop using Tiktok. However, many apps extract significant amount of data from user devices, and it is very difficult for users to control what then happens to that data, where it goes, or who it is shared with. I would urge everyone to exercise caution when considering what apps to use, and think about whether they really need the app, whether they are happy their personal data is shared, and whether they trust the supplier."

"I would also remind parents and guardians that social media apps are not designed for younger children and can track online behaviour or serve inappropriate content. It's important to think carefully about what apps you are happy for children to use and how this access is supervised."

TikTok use in the political world...

The Government of Jersey currently has 1,144 followers on the popular video platform.

It kicked off its TikTok career back in November 2020, with a dance video from the Jersey Youth Service, promoting protective measures against covid.


Its most popular video - a call to wear a mask and 'keep Jersey in business' - was posted in November 2021 and garnered more than 43,600 views.

But it's not just the Government making use of TikTok - the app is popular among politicians too. 

Former Economic Development Minister Deputy Lyndon Farnham (32 followers) is an avid user of the app, as is Reform Jersey leader Deputy Sam Mézec (121 followers).

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