NATIONAL Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Año said on Saturday, October 28, 2023, that they will order the total ban of TikTok in the country if it will be proven that China is using it for espionage and cyberattacks.
Año said since the social media application TikTok is from China, there is a “big possibility” that they are able to use it for data gathering including private details of its users.
"Hindi pa naman natin 'yan sinasabi (na iba-ban ang TikTok sa Pilipinas). Doon na lang muna tayo sa mga pamahalaan, opisina na involved sa security matters. At kung mayroon tayong makitang ibang development saka tayo magsasagawa ng adjustment," Año said.
(We are not saying that yet (that TikTok will be banned in the Philippines). Let's focus on the governments, offices involved in security matters. And if we see any other development then we will make an adjustment.)
The NSC formed a task force headed by Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya which will look into the possible data breaches following the hacking of several government sites recently.
The task force is directed to come up with a report which includes recommendations for the crafting of policies to ensure national cyber security.
"Na-hack ang ating PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority), PhilHealth, kaya kailangan maghanda tayo dito," he added.
(Our PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority), PhilHealth, has been hacked, so we need to prepare for it.)
The agency said it is also looking into banning government personnel from using TikTok, especially the uniformed personnel to avoid possible data leak.
Earlier, the United States, India, and Canada prohibited government employees from using TikTok especially on government-issued gadgets due to similar concern that China is using it to gather information against the country.