After Amazon un-bans TikTok, Wells Fargo tells staff: uninstall it

Credit: Kon Karampelas

Another week, another major institution banning TikTok, and citing privacy concerns.

US financial giant Wells Fargo has told its employees to delete the app off company phones, citing “TikTok’s privacy and security controls and practices”.

As of April 2020, Wells Fargo – with its $1.9 trillion in assets – employed 263,000 people.

The news of Wells Fargo’s TikTok ban follows a rough few weeks for the ByteDance-owned company.

On June 29, India’s government banned TikTok over national security concerns. TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer subsequently wrote to India’s government stating that the ByteDance-owned platform has never been asked for user data by the Chinese Government – and wouldn’t hand it over even if it was.

In the United States, speaking to reporters on July 1, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed India’s decision, and suggested that the country’s “clean app approach will boost Indian’s sovereignty”.

Pompeo also suggested last Monday (July 6) that President Donald Trump’s administration was “certainly looking at” doing the same in the States.

Then came Amazon’s somewhat confusing messaging at the end of last week.

According to a New York Times scoop, the online retail giant sent a memo to its US workforce on Friday (July 10) telling them to delete TikTok from any device they use to “access Amazon email”.

The memo stated: “Due to security risk, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email. If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by July 10 to retain mobile access to Amazon email.”

“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.”

Wells Fargo

TikTok issued a statement in response, saying that: “While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue.”

Amazon then bizarrely changed tack, telling the media via a spokesperson: “This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error. There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok”.

According The Information, which first reported the news of the Wells Fargo TikTok ban, the bank’s internal memo stated: “We have identified a small number of Wells Fargo employees with corporate-owned devices who had installed the TikTok application on their device.

“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.”Music Business Worldwide

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