Amazon is telling employees to remove TikTok from their mobile devices, citing “security risks.”
“Due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email,” the company’s IT staff told employees in an email, according to The New York Times.
The security danger wasn’t specified. But last month the video-sharing app was found snooping on users’ clipboard content on iPhones following an iOS update, despite a past pledge from TikTok to stop the practice. (TikTok has since blamed the clipboard snooping on an anti-spam feature designed to stop bots.)
The US government is also considering blocking TikTok, partly because the app’s company parent, Bytedance, is based in China. US officials are growing worried the Chinese government will be able to compel Bytedance to secretly hand over users’ private information for spying purposes.
Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But according to the email, employees must remove TikTok by today, otherwise their mobile access to Amazon’s email system will be revoked. Going forward, employees will only be able to access TikTok via a web browser on their laptops.
TikTok told PCMag it doesn’t know why Amazon is telling its employees to remove the app. “While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community,” TikTok said in a statement.
The video-sharing app also denied it poses a spying threat to US users. “We store all TikTok US user data in the United States, with backup redundancy in Singapore. Our data centers are located entirely outside of China, and none of our data is subject to Chinese law,” the company said in a statement last year.
According to Bloomberg, TikTok is mulling creating a separate headquarters outside of China to address the spying fears. Last month, India banned TikTok and dozens of Chinese mobile apps, citing concerns the products can abuse and mine users’ data.