E.U. bans TikTok; the executive body of the European Union announced on Thursday that TikTok had been temporarily removed from employee phones as a cybersecurity precaution. Reflecting growing concerns from Western officials about the Chinese-owned video-sharing app.
The use of TikTok on company-issued smartphones or employee-owned devices used for work has been suspended, marking a first for the European Commission. E.U. bans TikTok due to concerns that the massively popular app could be used to spread pro-Beijing sentiments or collect user information.
TikTok is coming under closer examination from Europe and the U.S. in regard to security and data protection. It happens at a time when China and the West are engaged in a larger technological arms race, including everything from surveillance balloons to computer chips.
Following similar actions in the U.S., where Congress and more than half of the states TikTok has been prohibited from official government devices, the EU has followed suit. Europe and the United States are increasingly scrutinizing TikTok regarding security and data privacy.
At a press conference in Brussels, Sonya Gospodinova, a spokesman for the commission, stated that the decision was made in order to “improve the commission’s cybersecurity.” Additionally, the measure aims to defend the commission from cybersecurity risks and practices that could be used against the commission’s business environment.
TikTok did not immediately answer an inquiry for comments. The commission’s spokeswoman declined to comment on what specifically led to the suspension or what would be required to have it lifted.
By March 15, employees would need to remove TikTok from personal devices they use for work, according to EU representatives. However, they did not specify how this requirement would be implemented.
The justice minister of Norway, which is not one of the EU’s 27 member states, was compelled to issue an apology this month after failing to report that she had TikTok loaded on her government-issued phone.
The ban has also put pressure on TikTok to abide by planned new digital regulations designed to get major internet platforms to remove harmful and unlawful content and adhere to the bloc’s stringent data privacy laws. To ease concerns about data privacy, the business has stated that it intends to open two new data centers in Europe.
In response to worries about data security and in an effort to strengthen its cybersecurity, the European Commission on Thursday forbade TikTok on staff members’ official devices. Because of concerns over Beijing’s access to user data, TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese, has come under more Western scrutiny in recent months. Employees of the European Commission are now not permitted to use the video-sharing app on their personal devices, including phones that have installed official EU communication apps.
Workers must uninstall the app as quickly as possible, ideally by March 15. The corporate management board of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, made the decision, according to EU spokesperson Sonya Gospodinova, for security considerations. “The measure intends to protect the Commission from cybersecurity risks and acts It might be used for cyberattacks against the commission’s corporate environment,” she stated.