TikTok is reportedly under investigation in Australia for possible data privacy concerns. The Australian government is analyzing whether the application presents any risk to users due to possible “foreign interference”. The development comes just weeks after the app was banned in India. It has also come under intense scrutiny in the United States recently.
In an interview with a local radio station in Melbourne on Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was “watching closely” TikTok operations in the country. “If we feel that more action is needed than we are taking now, then I can tell you that we will not be shy about it,” he said.
Unfortunately for TikTok, it’s not just the ruling party’s politicians who are wary of the app. Opposition politicians in Australia are also skeptical about the app’s data security policies. One of them is the Labor senator and the president of an influential parliamentary commission, Jenny McAllister.
In a recent interview on ABC Radio, she expressed concern over the alleged censorship of content that runs counter to the narrative of Beijing’s global events. “For example, deleting material on Tiananmen Square, or deleting material on the Hong Kong protests … Some of these approaches to moderating content may be inconsistent with Australian values,” he said.
TikTok and its parent company, meanwhile, have claimed that they have no relationship with the Chinese government. According to TikTok Australia CEO Lee Hunter, “We are independent and not aligned with any government, political party or ideology.” Furthermore, he claimed that TikTok Australia data was stored securely in Singapore and the United States, not China.