Hours after the message had been posted, a spokesman for Amazon said the message had been sent out in error. On Friday Amazon employees received an internal memo instructing them to delete TikTok from their phones by the end of the day over “security risks”.
The message added those who didn’t comply would lose access to company emails from their phones.
TikTok was the most downloaded app in the world from January to March 2020 and has been downloaded around two billion times in total.
The app allows users to post short video clips which can be set to music or other audio.
TikTok has become extremely popular amongst Generation Z, those born after the mid-to-late 1990s.
Amazon employees were briefly told to delete TikTok from their work phones
TikTok was the most downloaded app for the first three months of 2020
Many users post videos of themselves dancing to music, sometimes in unorthodox settings, whilst the most popular have attracted millions of followers.
There was controversy earlier this year when a number of NHS workers and police officers posted videos of them dancing in uniform whilst the coronavirus epidemic was intensifying.
However, TikTok has long been associated with privacy and security issues.
On Monday the Tump administration said it was considering banning the app in the US on national security grounds.
READ MORE: TikTok ban – Donald Trump to BAN TikTok in the USA – reports
The Trump administration has suggested it could ban TikTok in the US
According to Douglas Schmidt, a cybersecurity specialist at Vanderbilt University, TikTok is required to share data on users around the world with the Chinese government if they request it.
Speaking to The Guardian, he added: “This clearly has issues with regards to privacy for users.”
Mr Schmidt also warned Chinese authorities could be using software included in the TikTok download to conduct surveillance on the users phone, particularly in the cases of government employees.
In December the American army and navy instructed their personnel to delete TikTok from any military devices.
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President Xi Jinping has been cracking down on dissent within China
TikTok has been accused of deleting Hong Kong protest videos
Three months later two Republican senators tabled legislation in Congress that if passed would have banned the use of TikTok on any US government issued phones.
Mr Schmidt added Chinese authorities could censure TikTok content that fails to “conform with the Chinese government’s positions on human rights”.
It has previously reported that content related to Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protests have been raging since last summer, has been deleted.
In September last year leaked internal TikTok guidelines obtained by The Guardian suggested the company was engaged in political censorship.
The guidelines instructed moderators to remove content related to Tibetan independence, the Tiananmen Square massacre and the Falun Gong religious movement.
Moderators were told to delete posts that “demonisation or distortion of local or other countries’ history such as May 1998 riots of Indonesia, Cambodian genocide, Tiananmen Square incidents”.
In late June the Indian government banned 59 mostly Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok, over security and privacy concerns.
TikTok has been accused of removing pro-Tibetan independence content
In a statement Indian authorities said the apps could “pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country”.
When contacted by The Guardian about the Amazon internal message TikTok said security was “of the utmost importance” to the company.
They added: “While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue.”
Published at Fri, 10 Jul 2020 23:15:28 +0000