Downing Street defends ministers' use of TikTok on personal phones

Downing Street defends ministers' use of TikTok on personal phones

Downing Street has defended ministers including the defence secretary using TikTok on personal phones despite the China-linked platform being banned on government devices.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said Grant Shapps and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, who has also said she occasionally uses the app, are making sure they engage with it 'in the correct way'.

The video-sharing app, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, has been banned from government phones due to security concerns.

It is among the social media platforms to be subject to new safeguarding regulations in the UK's Online Safety Bill, which requires networks to provide strict age verification processes.

Asked whether the ministers' use of the app sends mixed messages, the No 10 official said: 'V both provided a bit more detail about how they're doing it and making sure it's done in the correct way.

TikTok, the news agency, said: t use Tiktok.

The government is releasing sensitive information on a government device because obviously there will be sensitive information on that device, whereas that is not true of somebody's personal phone and it is their personal choice.

She said Shapps accesses the platform via the phone of one of his staffers rather than his own personal device.

Shapps, who was appointed defence secretary in a mini-reshuffle last month, raised eyebrows earlier this year when he said he would continue to use TikTok on his personal phone.

The then-energy secretary added a clip from the film The Wolf of Wall Street in which Leonardo DiCaprio, a New York stockbroker, declares he is 'not f****** leaving' and the show goes on.

TikTok has argued that it doesn't share data with China, but Beijing's intelligence laws require firms to help the Communist Party when requested.

In a statement, the agency has described the bans as'misguided' and based on fundamental misconceptions about our company.