NewsEuropeEuropean Commission bans TikTok from employees' work devices

European Commission bans TikTok from employees’ work devices

Published on : 02/23/2023 – 13:53

The European Commission has banned the installation of the Chinese application TikTok on phones used by its staff in order to protect their data, one of its spokespersons announced on Thursday. The social network immediately denounced this decision.

To protect its data, the European Commission decided on Thursday February 23 to ban the installation of TikTok on the professional devices of its staff. The Chinese social network immediately reacted by denouncing this decision.

Civil servants and employees of the European executive have been invited to uninstall the application from their professional devices by March 15 at the latest, said the spokesperson, confirming information from the online site Euractiv.

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The measure was recommended by the institution’s IT department in order to “protect the Commission’s data and strengthen its cybersecurity”, he stressed.

“As an institution, the European Commission has, from the start of its mandate, emphasized cybersecurity, the protection of its employees and all those who work” for the institution, observed the Commissioner for ‘Industry, Thierry Breton, in front of the press.

He refused to give details: “We are obviously in no way forced to give the reasons for which we take (such) decisions in the interest of our own colleagues, the proper functioning of the institutions and its preservation”, he insisted.

“We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe is wrong and based on misconceptions,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.

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The European Commission has also asked its employees to uninstall the TikTok app from their personal devices, including phones, when official apps are installed on them, including email and video conferencing apps.

European User Safety

TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese, has come under increasing scrutiny from Westerners in recent months over fears over Beijing’s access to user data.

The US administration has banned the app on federal government devices, and some US lawmakers are trying to ban TikTok from operating in the United States.

TikTok admitted last November that some staff in China could access European user data.

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TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew traveled to Brussels in January for talks with EU officials, as Brussels shows concern for ensuring European users’ data security.

He later spoke with Thierry Breton.

“During this dense conversation that we had, I spoke to him about the problems concerning data security, the potential transfer of data on their services, and I told him about some questions that we could have,” recalled the commissioner on Thursday.

Shou Zi Chew had assured EU officials that his company was working on a “robust” system to process the data of Europeans in Europe, according to a Commission spokesman.

With AFP

Source: France 24


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