A similar measure will be taken by the European Council. Brussels fears that the Chinese social network could be used for espionage purposes by Beijing.
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In the name of data protection, the European Commission has banned all its employees from installing the TikTok application on their phones, a spokesperson for the institution announced on Thursday, February 23, confirming information from ‘Euractiv and Politico.
According to Euractiv, which was able to consult the e-mail announcing the measure, the request to remove the Chinese social network from all devices was made on Thursday 23 February, urging employees to respond as soon as possible and before March 15. After this date, those who have not deleted the ByteDance application will be deprived of access to certain tools, such as their professional email. The ban on using TikTok applies not only to employees’ work phones, but also to their personal smartphones if there is any application on them that they use for work, Politico said.
Fears of Instrumentalization by Beijing
This Commission decision comes as the Chinese social network is the subject of multiple fears regarding the security of its users’ data and potential instrumentalization by the Chinese authorities. In November, TikTok publicly acknowledged that the data of its European users could be accessed, “according to the needs of the service”, by employees in several countries, including China.
“We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe is wrong and based on misconceptions,” a TikTok spokesperson responded in a statement, adding that the company had requested a meeting with European authorities.
A measure similar to that decided by the Commission will be taken by the European Council, the body of member states headed by Belgian Charles Michel, his spokesperson told Agence France-Presse. The European Parliament announced that it is “monitoring and assessing all possible data breaches related to the app” and that its services will consider the Commission’s opinion before making recommendations.
Other institutions have implemented comparable measures in recent months. In the United States, Congress and more than half of the states have already implemented a ban of this type, and a bill passed in December by the Senate aims to ban its use on all devices owned by the federal state. . It still has to be voted on by the House of Representatives.
This article is originally published on lemonde.fr