In an interesting turn of events, it has been declared that TikTok poses an imminent threat to national cyber-security. As a result, on Wednesday, the Navy sent out a Facebook post urging military personnel and staff to delete the app if they have it downloaded on government-issued smartphones and tablets. In addition to this, they have specifically asked to maintain control on Navy used smartphones and asked for a ban on downloading TikTok on government-issued devices.
While there has been no mention of which particular element or which particular feature of the video app has instigated this action, one would have speculated that the free sharing or the incessant uploading and viewing resulting in major distraction could be the contributing factors. But this is just one part of the real reason. An interesting statement was made on the incident –
“This decision was made based on cybersecurity threat assessments, and is consistent with 10th Fleet efforts to proactively address existing and emerging threats in defense of our networks,” said Dave Benham, director of public affairs for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.
The rule still allows the use of TikTok on other devices apart from smartphones, since the threat isn’t as imminent on those from a cybersecurity point of view.
In one of the major letters written on the matter, this was mentioned about the video platform – “a potential target of foreign influence campaigns like those carried out during the 2016 election on U.S.-based social media platforms.”
Well, this decision might not be called for but we know that when even the slightest hint of a threat is posed, the US military are super cautious and over preventive…probably the better side to err on in these situations. But the battle between security measures and privacy will continue to remain and is a never-ending one.