HOLYROOD has urged MSPs to delete TikTok from their phones over fears it could allow the Chinese government access to the private data of Scottish politicians. 

The call comes after the UK Government banned the video app from the official devices of ministers and civil servants. 


Under Beijing’s National Intelligence Law, all companies have an obligation to cooperate with intelligence services, leading to fears that ByteDance, the company that owns the social media firm could give the authoritarian state access to private information. 

The US and the European Union have already moved to delete the app. The SNP, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Greens all have accounts, as do a handful of MSPs including prolific users Richard Leonard and Ross Greer. 

@richardleonardmsp #tories #toriesout #class #tradeunions ♬ original sound - Richard Leonard

In the email to all Holyrood staff, the parliament’s head of digital services said the “proportionate and necessary” request to delete the app came after discussions with the National Cyber Security Centre. 

“You may be aware of yesterday’s statement in the House of Commons regarding the security review of the TikTok application, carried out on behalf of the UK Government Cabinet Office. 

“As a result of the review, the UK Government has now strengthened its position on the use of TikTok and are making moves to ban the application on government devices.

“Cyber experts from within the BIT Team have been monitoring progress with the security review.

“After discussions with the National Cyber Security Centre, we are strongly advising that all Members, Members’ staff, Parliament staff and contractors’ staff remove the TikTok app from any device currently used to access the Scottish Parliament’s IT systems.  This includes personal devices and SPCB-issued devices.”

READ MORE: Scottish ministers mull TikTok ban

The official said the advice was “based on a precautionary approach and the best information available to us at this moment given the concerns around the information the Tik Tok application can collect from devices."

Earlier this week, the Chinese government hit out at the UK ban, accusing the government of acting “based on its political motive rather than facts”.

TikTok, owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, said it was “disappointed” with the decision and said bans were based on “fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Greens said: ”Scottish Green MSPs and their staff are always advised to follow the recommendations of Parliament's security professionals.”