The popular social media app TikTok must be removed from work devices and desktops, as well as from personal devices if they are used to access any of Delta Air Lines’ systems, including email and travel booking software. This was announced to staff on Friday.
The airline highlighted a U.S. restriction that government contractors cannot have TikTok or any programme by parent company ByteDance on devices used to carry out business for the government in a memo to staff seen by TPG and confirmed by multiple airline employees. Like most airlines, Delta offers charter services and sells flights to the government.
No employee will actually be permitted to have TikTok on their phone because this rule applies to both workplace emails and in-flight ethernet. Workers will have until Friday, July 7 to remove the app from their phones and other devices, according to a memo first seen by airline and travel website The Points Guy.
Similar measures were taken by Southwest Airlines to limit TikTok usage on its internal network, however, it is unclear how much limitation applies to personal devices used by Southwest personnel. If other airlines follow suit, it would be another hit for TikTok’s reputation in the United States, though it doesn’t appear that its parent firm is stopping its expansion into publishing.
As TikTok has become more well-known, some government representatives have voiced privacy concerns and brought up the potential that the Chinese government may be trying to influence the Beijing-based startup in order to obtain data on Americans.