Use of TikTok, similar apps on S’pore govt-issued devices only on ‘need-to’ basis: Smart Nation office

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SINGAPORE - The Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) clarified on Friday that the use of TikTok on government-issued devices is subject to the same existing policy as other similar apps such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

“It is the existing policy for government-issued devices to be used for work, and for only approved apps to be downloaded on such devices,” an SNDGG spokesman said in response to media queries.

“Other than TikTok which is allowed for use on a need-to basis, there are other apps similarly subject to the same policy, such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.”

The clarification followed reports on Friday on the use of TikTok on government-issued devices here.

The SNDGG and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore said in a joint statement earlier in the day that “TikTok is only allowed for use by public officers on a need-to basis, such as for communications officers”.

“Security configurations are implemented on such devices to safeguard data. Officers are regularly reminded to only download approved apps, and of the importance of sound security practices,” the statement added.

The popular video app – owned by Beijing-headquartered company ByteDance – has been banned from government-issued devices in the United States, Canada and Belgium, among other places, amid fears that user data from the app could be used by the Chinese government.

Britain said on Thursday that it would also ban the app on government phones with immediate effect.

  • Additional reporting by Ang Qing
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