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Danish defense ministry bans TikTok on employee work phones

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — NATO-member Denmark’s Defense Ministry on Monday banned its employees from having video-sharing app TikTok on their work phones as a cybersecurity measure.

It’s the latest government-related ban over security and data privacy for the app, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd.

In a statement, the ministry said the Scandinavian country’s Center for Cyber Security had assessed there was a risk of espionage, and said that TikTok “asks for certain rights and access on the device.”

The military agency is part of Denmark’s foreign intelligence service.

The ministry said it would “ban the use of the app on official units,” saying “there were weighty security considerations within the defense ministry combined with a very limited work-related need to use the app.”

It said employees “are required to uninstall TikTok on service phones and other official devices as soon as possible if they have previously installed it.”

It wasn’t immediately known how many members of the defense ministry have TikTok installed, nor whether the ban also applied to the armed forces.

Last month, Denmark’s Parliament urged lawmakers and employees at the 179-member assembly against having TikTok on work phones as a cybersecurity measure, citing “a risk of espionage.”

Last week, the U.S. said government agencies have 30 days to delete TikTok from federal devices and systems. More than half of U.S. states, Congress, and the European Union’s executive branch have already prohibited it from devices used for official business amid worries that TikTok could be used to promote pro-Beijing views or sweep up users’ information.

TikTok’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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