BBC advises staff against using Tiktok on work phones

The BBC has advised staff against using Tiktok on corporate devices unless for “editorial and marketing purposes”.

In guidance sent to staff on Sunday and seen by Press Gazette, the corporation said: “We don’t recommend installing Tiktok on a BBC corporate device unless there is a justified business reason. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation.”

The BBC said the decision was “based on concerns raised by government authorities worldwide regarding data privacy and security”.

Under a section of the guidance entitled “I already have Tiktok installed on my phone/mobile device, what does this mean for me?”, the BBC tells staff: “If the device is your own personal phone/mobile device, you can decide whether or not to keep the app based on your individual circumstances and data considerations.

“If the device is a BBC corporate device, and you do not need Tiktok for business reasons, Tiktok should be deleted from the BBC corporate mobile device. If you have any queries regarding how to remove the app from your device, please contact your usual technical support or service desk.”

The BBC announcement comes shortly after the UK government banned Tiktok on all government-owned devices.

It also follows in the footsteps of Danish public service broadcaster DR, which earlier this month advised staff not to have Tiktok on their work phones due to security concerns. Editorial staff who need the app for research must now ask to use a shared “Tiktok phone”, according to the BBC.

BBC News has invested heavily in enhancing its editorial presence on Tiktok in recent months. It came relatively late to the app, launching its Tiktok account in March 2022, but this year has hired a new Tiktok team and said creating news for the platform is one of its main priorities for the year.

[Read more: Why Tiktok is one of the ‘main priorities’ at BBC News for 2023]

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC takes the safety and security of our systems, data and people incredibly seriously.  We constantly review activity on third party platforms – including TikTok – and will continue to do so.”

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