British special forces, SAS, banned from using TikTok over fears of their confidential data being hacked. Photo/Illustration/Sindonews
LONDON – British special forces SAS, prohibited from using TikTok and other social media applications on their smartphones. They are also advised not to use the application on their personal cellphones.
The alert was issued by the Special Forces Intelligence and Security unit.
It comes amid growing fears that apps, particularly China’s TikTok, could leave confidential data accessible to spies.
Intelligence experts fear the app could provide data to countries like China and Russia that could help identify special forces members, covert locations in the UK as well as abroad, and even jeopardize operations.
The British Special Forces, which includes the Special Boat Service and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, work closely with members of MI5 and MI6.
Individual identities are state secrets and their publication is effectively prohibited under the DSMA Notice – meaning members cannot be named in the media.
“Apps are one of the greatest emerging threats to hostile intelligence services to use to target individuals,” said Colonel Phil Ingram, a former military intelligence officer.
“It’s not just data that they legally collect when users accept terms and conditions, which are often excessive, but it’s additional data that can be collected,” he explained.
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