EU institutions ban TikTok on work devices amid concerns over data protection

TikTok has faced increasing Western scrutiny in recent months over fears about how much access Beijing has to user data.

EU institutions have put a ban on TikTok on work devices amid concerns over data protection!

As reported, the main EU governing institutions on Thursday banned their staff from installing TikTok on devices used for work amid concerns over data protection.

The ban affects staff at the European Commission and European Council, which represents member states, however, the European Parliament has not yet taken a similar decision.

Implying with the new rules, EU staff cannot use the video-sharing app on work devices and personal devices, including phones, that have official EU email and communication apps installed.

The Commission said its employees must remove the TikTok app as soon as possible and should do so by March 15.

According to the EU spokeswoman Sonya Gospodinova, the corporate management board of the Commission, the EU’s executive arm, had made the decision for security reasons.

“The measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyberattacks against the corporate environment of the commission,” she said.

The development comes after TikTok admitted in November that some staff in China can access the data of European users. The company however denies that the Chinese government has any control or access.

Meanwhile, the company TikTok on Thursday stressed it protects the data of its 125 million monthly users in the European Union and was taking steps to strengthen data security.

It later said it had requested a meeting with the Commission “to set the record straight”.

“We’re continuing to enhance our approach to data security, including by establishing three data centres in Europe to store user data locally; further reducing employee access to data; and minimising data flows outside of Europe,” the firm said.

This is not the first time that such a ban has been imposed on the video-sharing app TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese.

Last year, the United States banned the app from federal government devices, and some US lawmakers are trying to prohibit TikTok from operating in the US.

Last month, the Dutch government reportedly advised public officials to steer clear of the TikTok app over similar concerns.

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