The European Commission (EC) has asked its employees to remove the Chinese video platform TikTok from their corporate and personal mobile phones in which they use work applications over fears that their data security could be breached.
“In order to protect the Commission’s data and enhance its cyber security, the EC Board of Directors has decided to suspend the TikTok application on corporate and personal devices registered with the Commission’s mobile device services,” the service reported on Thursday. Which can be accessed on the EURACTIV portal. The European governing body has given a deadline of March 15 to uninstall TikTok.
About 125 million people in the European Union (EU) use TikTok every month. The platform, owned by Chinese giant ByteDance, has become a global phenomenon in recent years, popularizing vertical video and becoming the sixth most-consumed digital application in the world in record time. However, this success has gone hand in hand with suspicions that China may be using TikTok as a spying window on its rivals. The allegation prompted countries such as the United States or Taiwan to ban its use in the electronic equipment of officials, a path that European countries have not yet followed.
access to european data
Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Industry, has cited this concern to justify the measure. And it is that last November, TikTok acknowledged that its employees in China and nine other countries could access the personal data of European users, something that, as they pointed out, complies with EU regulations and requires maintenance and The platform is used for improvement.
Still, it seems TikTok’s explanation hasn’t completely convinced European authorities, especially after Forbes revealed that the company’s employees used the app to spy on its journalists.
A spokesperson for TikTok said, “We are disappointed by this decision, which we believe is wrong and based on fundamental misunderstandings.”
Currently European users’ data is stored on servers located in the US and Singapore. To allay fears of privacy violations and regulatory pressure, TikTok announced last week that it would open a total of three data centers — two in Ireland and a third in another region of the European region — “to store user data locally.” For.” , and further reduce employee access to that data.
On January 10, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew tried to send a message of calm by meeting with European officials. “There can be no doubt that user data in Europe is secure and not exposed to illegal access by authorities in third countries,” said Vera Jourova, European Commission Vice President and Commissioner for Values and Transparency. The measure announced today confirms that TikTok does not yet have the full trust of Brussels.