Amazon says employees have not been asked to remove the popular social video sharing app TikTok from their mobile devices, despite sending an email asking employees to delete the app earlier on Friday.
First reported by The New York Times On Friday, Amazon asked employees to remove TikTok from their mobile devices and referred to security risks. An Amazon spokesman said The edge on Friday that the email was "sent in error".
"This morning's email to some of our employees was incorrectly sent," said the Amazon spokesman. "There are currently no changes to our policies regarding TikTok."
"Because of security risks, the TikTok app is no longer allowed on mobile devices that access Amazon email," the company said in the first email to employees on Friday morning. “If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by July 10th to get mobile access to Amazon email. The use of TikTok through your Amazon laptop browser is currently allowed. “The email was received by several reporters and published independently on twitter.
TikTok was recently caught running user clipboard data when running in the background, which could reveal passwords or other sensitive information. The behavior was revealed due to a new feature in iOS 14, and it's unclear how long it was in the app. TikTok has since removed the feature, but the privacy concerns underscore the longstanding privacy concerns of the app owned by the Chinese-based company ByteDance.
Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the Trump administration is "reviewing" TikTok's ban. It is not entirely clear how the administration could ban the app, and it still has to respond to Pompeo's statement. Still, the confusion and recent glitches have left the TikTok community in a state of confusion where they are concerned about whether the app will be removed in the United States.
A TikTok spokesman responded to Amazon's decision to order employees to remove the app, and said in a statement: "Although Amazon did not tell us before sending its email and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can take care of any problems they may have and enable their team to continue to participate in our community. "
Update July 10, 4:56 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this article reported that Amazon had banned TikTok from employee phones due to an email sent to employees. The company confirmed the authenticity of this email, but said so The edge after publication that the message was "sent incorrectly". Much of this article has been changed to reflect our new understanding of corporate policy.