According to memo that was later retracted, TikTok, the widely popular mobile video app, could be harmful on devices that are also connected to Amazon employees’ email accounts. Amazon told employees in a staff memo that the app must be deleted by Friday if those employees want to continue accessing Amazon emails on their mobile devices, but a spokesperson later said the email was sent in error.
“This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error,” an Amazon spokesman said late Friday, according to the WSJ. “There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.”
TikTok has also recently been pulled from Hong Kong by Bytedance, which owns the app, after a new national security law was passed. India also banned the app among others by Chinese companies, in a dispute over the border between Beijing and New Delhi.
And in the U.S., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration may limit TikTok use, while some lawmakers in Washington want an all-out ban due to claims that TikTok data could become available to Beijing.
PYMNTS reported recently that the EU was also forming a committee to look into TikTok's practices and safety in the bloc. In the Netherlands, the data protection commission is looking into how TikTok operates with children's data and protection.
TikTok, meanwhile, has denied these accusations, maintaining that privacy is an important concern.
“We welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community,” a spokesperson for TikTok said, according to the WSJ. “We’re proud that tens of millions of Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection, including many of the Amazon employees and contractors who have been on the front lines of this pandemic.”
The spokesperson claimed Amazon had not contacted TikTok about the decision, adding that the decision didn’t make sense to them.