European Commission to Ban TikTok on Corporate Devices
The European Commission has confirmed its decision to ban the use of video sharing app TikTok on its corporate devices.
The decision by the Commission also means that its staff will be unable to access TikTok on personal devices including mobile phones that are enrolled in the Commission mobile device service.
Staff at the Commission will be required to delete TikTok from devices that they use for professional business by March 15.
A statement from the Commission said that in order to increase its cybersecurity, the Commission’s Corporate Management Board has decided to suspend the use of the TikTok application on its corporate devices and on personal devices enrolled in the Commission mobile device service.
Owned by Chinese company, ByteDance, TikTok has faced scrutiny for its handling of user data due to its Chinese links.
TikTok was banned last year from federal government devices in the United States.
The statement from the European Commission said the reason for the decision was to protect against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the Commission. The security developments of other social media platforms will also be kept under constant review.
It said the decision is aligned with strict internal cybersecurity policies for use of mobile devices for work-related communications and that it complements long-standing Commission advice to staff to apply best practices when using social media platforms and to keep a high-level of cyber awareness in their daily work.
Shou Zi Chew, TikTok Chief Executive visited Brussels last month where he held talks with EU officials. Concerns were expressed over the safety of European TikTok users’ data.
The company employs 5,000 people across 10 countries in the European region and is believed to have 125 million users across the European region.
The company is due to open a European Transparency Centre in Dublin next month
Caroline Greer, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations at TikTok, based in Brussels tweeted, The European Commission’s suspension of TikTok on corporate devices is misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions. We have requested a meeting to set the record straight.
A further tweet from Ms. Greer said, We are continuing to enhance our approach to data security – establishing three data centres in Europe to store user data locally; further reducing employee access to data; and minimising data flows outside of Europe.