Watch out for Tiktok!  President of the Bundestag warns MPs

Watch out for Tiktok! President of the Bundestag warns MPs

More and more countries are banning Tiktok from government and parliament cell phones. Bundestag President Bas also warns the parliamentarians.

Worldwide they take Think against the social media app Tiktok. Most recently, New Zealand joined the countries that, for security reasons, are against the belonging to a Chinese group Video-App proceed. The app is to be blocked on all cellphones and other devices with access to the New Zealand parliament network, including MPs’ phones.

Bundestag President Bärbel Bas plans no general ban the app for MPs – but the social democrat urges caution. “Tiktok is not installed on the cell phones of the Bundestag administration. The deputies, on the other hand, are free to do so,” Bas told our editorial team. “I can only appeal here: Pay attention to the data! You have to be aware that the data may be misused.”

Tiktok: Controversial app from China – and competition for US services

The controversial app from the company Bytedance has already been launched in Canada, Australia, Great Britain and the USA government phones or devices banned from deputies. The Brussels Commission and the EU Parliament also ban their employees from using the app, which is particularly popular with young people, on company cell phones. The app cannot even be installed on the service devices of several federal ministries.

Also read:Will the Tiktok ban also apply to the federal government?

With more than a billion users, Tiktok is the only large online platform that is also successful in the West that does not come from the USA. The concern is that sensitive data could flow directly to government agencies in China. “You don’t always have control over what happens to your own data. Some of the servers are abroad,” said Bas. However, the SPD politician expressly adds: “This is not only the case with Tiktok, but also with Facebook or Instagram.”

Bas is on Instagram – and wants to stay that way

Bas is active on Instagram in her capacity as President of the Bundestag. “The Data Protection Officer has already warned us about this, but we will continue to operate our Instagram channel @bundestagpraesidentin for the time being and will also make all content freely accessible on,” reported Bas. It’s a balancing act: “Many young voters only get information about politics with the help of social media,” explained the President of the Bundestag. “If we want to appeal to young people, we need social media. Let’s withdraw, let’s leave the field to the populists.”

The Federal Data Protection Commissioner Ulrich Kelber recently had the Federal Government operate its Facebook site prohibited. Kelber justified this with concerns about data protection. The Federal Press Office is taking legal action against this.

Anger about mobile phone use in the plenum

Incidentally, mobile phones and their use are also an issue in the Bundestag for another reason: it is noticeable that numerous members of parliament are often busy with their smartphones, even during important Bundestag debates. “A lot of citizens feel that way disrespectful. I understand that very well,” said Bas. “I get countless letters every day demanding that I ban cell phones. But that cannot be enforced.”

Bas explained: “The smartphone is a work tool for many MPs.” However, the President of the Parliament hopes that the appearance in the plenary will soon change: “At the latest when we introduce digital voting, we will have iPads directly at the seats in the plenary hall to install. Other parliaments have had that for a long time.”

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