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Amazon says TikTok hasn’t been banned from workers’ phones

Amazon said Friday that an internal email sent earlier in the day that banned TikTok on workers’ devices was sent by mistake.

“This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Digital Trends on Friday. “There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.”

The internal email — which surfaced on Twitter on Friday morning and was first reported by the New York Times — says employees must remove the app by July 10 in order to have continued access to their email accounts, citing “security risks” related to the TikTok app.

“Due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email,” the email reads. “If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by [July 10] to retain mobile access to Amazon email.”

The email continued on to say that accessing TikTok from an internet browser on a desktop computer will still be allowed.

Amazon did not explain how the apparent email error occurred, or whether the company’s policy around TikTok would be changing in the near future.

This week was been fraught with scrutiny for the Chinese social media app. TikTok, which is owned by China-based startup Bytedance, has been increasingly viewed as a national security threat in the United States. Just this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his team, along with President Donald Trump, were looking into banning the app across the U.S. after reports that the app stores American user data.

The government has already banned it from several federal agencies ,including the Navy and Army, citing similar security concerns. The app, however, has an American CEO, former Walt Disney executive Kevin Mayer, and has been distancing itself from its Chinese roots as criticism mounts.

Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
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