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A senate committee investigating interference in Australia by foreign powers through social media have released a report this week which found that TikTok and WeChat could be the country’s biggest security risks. The report made 17 recommendations, including introducing new regulation to ensure all platforms operate under transparency requirements or be banned from use across the country. TikTok was banned earlier this year on Australian government devices over fears that the app’s security was compromised, and that the platform could be used for foreign interference. This is because it was found that China-based employees can and have accessed Australian user data, and can manipulate content algorithms. However, TikTok is unable to tell how often the data was accessed despite initially suggesting that the information was logged. WeChat was found to pose similar data security and foreign interference risks and one of the committee recommendations is to also ban the application on government devices.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast