Former deputy first minister John Swinney introduced earlier than he left workplace that the video sharing app could be faraway from Authorities telephones, following the same resolution by the UK Authorities and Scottish Parliament amid cybersecurity fears.
Considerations had been raised that the Chinese language authorities might entry delicate knowledge from customers on the app – a declare that has been rubbished by Beijing’s embassy within the UK.
A response from present Deputy First Minister Shona Robison to a query from the Scottish Liberal Democrats reveals the extent of Authorities spending on the app, which doesn’t cost to create an account or submit movies.
Spending started in 2020 when the Scottish Authorities shelled out £71,179 on the app, rising to £127,372 the next yr and £112,508 in 2022.
Within the months earlier than the ban was introduced on March 23, the Authorities had spent an additional £27,474 – leading to a complete of £338,533 in simply over three years.
It’s understood the cash was spent on advertising and marketing campaigns on the app, however that no additional spending by the Scottish Authorities has been deliberate.
Scottish Lib Dem chief Alex Cole-Hamilton, who lodged the query on the spending, mentioned: “There are actual fears that platforms like TikTok may very well be exploited in such a means as to threaten nationwide safety.
“John Swinney mentioned that there was ‘restricted use of TikTok inside Authorities’, however this degree of expenditure exhibits that the Scottish Authorities have been really enthusiastic companions.
“Banning TikTok on Authorities telephones is a welcome start line, however now it’s clear that we’d like a dedication that the Scottish Authorities won’t be spending any more cash on this app and a strategic audit of the attain of China’s pursuits and affect in Scotland.”