Amazon has asked all of its employees to remove the TikTok app from their cell phones. The move comes as the US government considers a nationwide ban on the Chinese video app.
“Due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email,” read a memo sent to employees on Friday. “If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by 10-Jul to retain mobile access to Amazon email. At this time, using TikTok from your Amazon laptop browser is allowed.”
Amazon sends email to employees requiring they delete the TikTok app off all mobile devices with access to a company email. (📸: @TaylorLorenz)
However, employees can still access TikTok from their laptop browser per the email. pic.twitter.com/qonz5d7YS9
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 10, 2020
So no ten second dog videos or mind-numbing ‘dancing nurse’ clips for Jeff Bezos’ workers. The app is among the fastest-growing social media platforms in history, but has been dogged by allegations that it gathers user data on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.
Last month these rumors were again stoked when users discovered that the app was secretly copying the contents of their clipboards, a practice the app pledged last year to stop.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a multibillion dollar corporation based in Beijing. Its proximity to Chinese power, coupled with security breaches like the clipboard copying scandal, has made it a lightning rod for anti-Chinese governments around the world.
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In the US, where the Trump administration has waged a trade war against Beijing for the better part of three years and blacklisted a slew of Chinese tech manufacturers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this week that Washington is “certainly looking at” banning TikTok.
Americans, he said, should only download the app “only if you want your information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The US Navy banned its sailors and marines from using TikTok on military devices last November, citing the same security risks, a month after the Army issued a similar ban to its cadets.
There are an estimated 25-30 million TikTok users in the US. Based on Amazon’s decision, it seems that the country’s government and corporate leaders are determined to whittle that number down as much as they can.
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