Kenyan government officials could face TikTok ban over privacy data concerns 

March 22, 2024
2 min read
Photo by Collabstr on Unsplash TikTok
  • The Interior Ministry of Kenya is considering limiting the use of TikTok by government officials to protect sensitive data and Kenyans' security.
  • Kithure Kindiki, Secretary of the Interior Cabinet, revealed in a meeting that the National Security Council (NSC) is battling threats associated with social media platforms, including TikTok.

According to the 2023 report, Kenya has the highest TikTok usage rate in the world. In the country, 54% use the app for general purposes, while about 29% use it for news.

Kuria East MP Marwa Gitayama, who chaired the meeting, questioned whether there is an existing policy on TikTok use among government officials.

Kindiki clarified that while there is no policy, the NSC is looking into the matter and may limit the use of the application.

While the NSC is still deliberating on the next step, Kindiki stated that the outcome will determine whether the policy limits the use of TikTok by government officials and people of certain ages.

However, in August 2023, Kenya's Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy announced that reviewing the laws governing social media users is underway.

This is not the first time the country has considered banning TikTok. In August 2023, Briget Connect Consultancy CEO Bob Ndolo submitted a petition asking to ban TikTok in Kenya.

The petitioner cited foul language, explicit sexual content, hate speech, and data insecurity, among other issues. He added that the social media platform will impair student's academic performance.

In the same month, TikTok announced a collaboration with the Kenyan government to moderate content on its platform to reflect community standards. There was also a Nairobi office in view at the time.

While Kenya is considering banning or restricting TikTok, other African countries have already banned the social media app. Somalia has banned the app due to misinformation, hate speeches, and inappropriate content. 

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However, the Senegalese government has declined to lift the ban until a consensus regulation. In addition, Egypt and Uganda have considered banning the application.

Additionally, as the application faces global scrutiny, TikTok recently collaborated with the African Union Commission's Women, Gender, and Youth Directorate (WGYD) to raise awareness about online safety among African youths and parents.

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