Security & Fraud

Amid Security Fears, Wells Fargo Tells Employees To Remove TikTok From Phones

Citing security concerns, Wells Fargo is asking employees to remove the TikTok apps from their work phones, Bloomberg reported.

TikTok, the popular video-making app, is owned by China’s Bytedance, and it has come under scrutiny from U.S. government officials. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said Americans who downloaded the app risked their private information falling into “the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Wells Fargo’s statement on Friday (July 10) said the measure was taken because entertainment apps like TikTok don’t need to be present on employees’ work devices.

“We have identified a small number of Wells Fargo employees with corporate-owned devices who had installed the TikTok application on their device,” the statement said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Due to concerns about TikTok’s privacy and security controls and practices, and because corporate-owned devices should be used for company business only, we have directed those employees to remove the app from their devices.”

This is the second instance of a high-profile company looking at banning TikTok due to potential security concerns. Amazon started off Friday telling employees they weren’t to have the app on their phones if they also had the Amazon email app installed. The notice to employees said it was a privacy concern.

However, the eCommerce giant retracted that later on Friday, saying the message had been a mistake and that there was “no change” to the company’s policies involving TikTok.

A new national security law in Hong Kong prompted Bytedance to remove the app there. And in India, a dispute over borders caused the app to be banned as well, and the EU has formed a committee to examine the app’s safety and practices.

In response to the controversy, TikTok has maintained that it is safe and poses no security threats.

“User security is of the utmost importance to TikTok – we are fully committed to respecting the privacy of our users,” a spokesperson said in an email, according to WSJ.

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