KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto.

29 March 2023

Popular social media application TikTok, has caused nation-wide concern based on the app’s links to China. The app’s parent company, ByteDance is a Chinese owned company and globally, there is fear that data obtained by the app might be accessible to the Chinese government.

During a parliamentary speech this week, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto said the application poses a very real security risk to Australia and everyone, especially political leaders and government officials, should be taking the potential threat very seriously.

“Political tensions are rising across the world, and the question being asked is ‘where does TikTok play into this’,” Mr Dametto said.

“This is a national security issue that should be a concern to everyone. The app accesses more data than we are aware of, it’s not just about watching videos of local MPs dancing or the next fashion craze; there is a sinister side to TikTok that people need to be aware of and GPS data, calendars, emails, it’s all accessible.

“TikTok announced that it does not provide any data to the Chinese government, which is interesting because China has very different privacy and policy laws to Australia and other parts of the world. Under Chinese security law, Chinese companies are required to support and assist the Chinese government to cooperate with national intelligence efforts meaning they would be obliged to hand over any data in their possession or control. It may technically be true that TikTok does not provide the data to China now, but the risk is that they may be obliged to do so in the future.”

Recently, the CEO of TikTok Australia dismissed concerns about the potential risks of the application and its Chinese connections. Downplaying the potential threat has not been sufficient to curb growing concerns and internationally, a number of countries have moved aggressively against the application.

“The app has been banned in India, Afghanistan and Pakistan entirely. Government and parliaments in Canada, Europe, France, New Zealand and Taiwan have either fully or partially banned it.

“American is moving towards a Government ban with the senate currently considering the ‘No TikTok on Government Devices Act’ bill.

“Here in Australia, we have seen mixed responses across state and federal governments. The results of a security report currently being examined by the Commonwealth should reveal the seriousness of the threat and result in a confirmation by federal leaders on what measures Australia must put in place.

“Whatever action is taken to reduce our national security risk must be enforced across every state and territory and we should all be on notice.”


Nick Dametto MP