Amazon employees see security risks in TikTok – but many won’t delete it

By Lucy Ingham

The majority of Amazon employees believe that TikTok does pose a security risk to the company, but many won’t be deleting it from their phones.

This is according to a survey by Blind, which saw 348 verified Amazon employees respond. It found that 63% of Amazon employees agreed that there were “security risks” to their employer if they kept the app on their phone, but almost half of those who had the app installed said they would not be deleting it.

Chinese social media giant TikTok has attracted considerable criticism of the level of access it has to phones’ systems, and concerns that it was being used to steal data and send it to the Chinese government – an allegation that remains unproven.

However, the concerns have prompted it to be banned in India along with a slew of other Chinese apps, and although this is largely a political move, Ray Walsh, digital privacy expert at ProPrivacy, advised that it “doesn’t mean it has no genuine basis in data-privacy”.

Amazon bans TikTok – then quickly reverses its decision

Now rumours are circulating that the US is also considering a ban, and major technology companies are mulling the threat it may pose to them.

On Friday Amazon sent an email to employees instructing them to delete TikTok from their phones over security concerns, before quickly retracting the ban, claiming it had been sent in error.

65% of Amazon employees surveyed by Blind said that they have received the instruction to delete TikTok.

However, if there is a genuine threat to Amazon via its employees use of TikTok, it seems that it will have to reconsider enacting a ban if it is to protect itself.

While 45% of those surveyed said they did not have TikTok installed, of those that that did, 44% said they would not be deleting the app.

As with other poor cybersecurity practices, perceiving a threat does not automatically translate into taking action.

Read more: TikTok security flaw risked video manipulation