Norwegian minister under fire for using TikTok on her work phone

Norway’s Minister of Justice, Emilie Enger Mehl, left, at an event last year.

Norway’s justice minister has apologized for failing to admit, that she installed and used TikTok on her government-issued phone.

The Chinese video-sharing app, has raised fears in the West that Beijing could use the app to gather user information or to push pro-China narratives and misinformation to its users.

The 29-year-old Justice Minister, Emilie Enger Mehl, told parliamentarians on Wednesday, that she installed TikTok on her work phone for about a month last fall, and that she since deleted it.

Questioned by the opposition in the past, she has former avoided the issue citing “security reasons”.

“I am sorry that the matter has developed in this direction. I see in retrospect, that I should have been open about having TikTok on a government phone earlier on,” Enger Mehl said on Wednesday.

The issue surfaced in September, when the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported, that Enger Mehl’s TikTok posts included photos and videos from her official duties. That sparked concern that sensitive information and government activity could have reached Chinese authorities.

In a television interview on February 1, Enger Mehl admitted having installed TikTok on her government phone. This was three months after she was asked about it the first time. She claimed that she had consulted her ministry before the installation.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company with headquarters in Singapore. Several US states have already banned the app from state-issued devices.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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