Amazon Tells Employees to Delete TikTok, Then Claims Directive Was Sent in Error
An Amazon spokesperson said Friday afternoon that an email ordering employees to delete TikTok was sent in error. The company declined to provide further explanation for how the directive was sent.
"This morning's email to some of our employees was sent in error," the spokesperson said. "There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok."
"Due to security risks, the TikTop app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email," the company said Friday in an email to employees.
Here's the email Amazon sent to employees this morning banning TikTok from employee phones. "If you have TikTok o… https://t.co/hGPYjxQLxP— Taylor Lorenz (@Taylor Lorenz)1594400093.0
TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media apps in the world but government officials and business leaders are becoming increasingly wary of the Chinese-owned company.
The U.S. military has already barred its members from using TikTok and the federal government is considering a broader ban out of concerns that the Chinese government may be using the app to spy on Americans.
Earlier this month, India announced it will ban TikTok and other popular Chinese apps citing threats to "sovereignty and integrity."
Amazon did not provide details on its concerns in the employee email. We've reached out to the company to comment and will update this story when we hear back.
A TikTok spokesperson said the company is "fully committed to respecting the privacy of users," in a statement to the Times.
"While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community."
Last month, a new privacy feature in iOS 14 revealed TikTok was accessing users' clipboard content despite promising to discontinue the practice last year.
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Mr. Rogers made the boob tube acceptable television for a generation of kids and parents who had previously seen the small screen as antithetical to learning. Chris Ovitz wants do the same for his new mobile app OK Play, another in a recent blitz of edutainment products for children.
But this one, Ovitz said he has a twist: It's also made for parents. OK Play asks them to put their phones down and play with their young children.
Founding team JJ Aguhob, Chris Ovtiz, Dr. Colleen Russo Johnson, Ken Chung and Travis Chen<p>Originally, OK Company planned to launch their app later this year, but the pandemic left so many families stuck at home searching for child activities that it accelerated the timeline for their launch.</p><p>"We really want to try and help strip away the stress and pressures on parents, remind them that it's okay to just be wherever they are," she said.</p><p>The company will compete in an increasingly crowded multi-billion-dollar edutainment marketplace, but their ambitions are to transcend it.</p><p>"I think the overarching dream for us is to build that once-in-a-generation children's entertainment and technology company, but we can't get there until we really start to build this," said OK Company CEO Aguhob.</p><p>"We are at the starting line," he said, noting there is room to grow eventually adding books, toys and other physical merchandise that traditional media franchises have used to expand their reach.</p><p>"We're not just going to make traditional entertainment because it's the thing that you do," he said "We're going to create a new interactive experience that brings families together. And from that, the media is going to look different." </p><p><em><em>Do you have a story that needs to be told? My DMs are open on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/racheluranga" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">@racheluranga</a>. You can also <a href="mailto:mailto:email@example.com" target="_self">email me</a>.</em></em></p><p><em>**An earlier version misidentified Michael Ovitz's title. </em></p>
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Amazon unveiled its supermarket of the future, a grocery store without cashiers or checkout lines considered a technological breakthrough in the $800 billion industry. Shoppers get to grab-and-go with a full cart of items that are scanned automatically and billed to their bank accounts.
But don't expect to see it anytime soon in Los Angeles.