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European Commission Forbids TikTok on Official Devices

European Commission Forbids TikTok on Official Devices

Staff who work for the Brussels-based European Commission will no longer be able to use the video app TikTok on their work devices due to concerns about security breaches, according to CNN. As the executive arm of the European Union, the Commission introduces and mandates the EU’s budget and legislation. It employs around 32,000 full-time and contract workers, all of whom must remove TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, from their professional phones by March 15.

“This measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the Commission,” officials said today in a statement. “The security developments of other social media platforms will also be kept under constant review.”

The new rule also applies to personal equipment on which employees use any official Commission apps as well.

The action marks the first time the European Commission has ever prohibited employees from using an app, according to The New York Times. Government officials in other countries, including the U.S., have also expressed concerns about the possibility of China capturing sensitive data from TikTok, though the app itself has refuted that possibility.

“We believe this suspension is misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions,” TikTok said in a statement.

TikTok has 5,000 employees in Europe and 125 million users in the European Union, according to CNBC. Caroline Greer, head of public policy at TikTok, said via Twitter that the company has requested to meet with EU officials to further discuss the matter.

“We are continuing to enhance our approach to data security — establishing three data centers in Europe to store user data locally; further reducing employee access to data; and minimizing data flows outside of Europe,” Greer said.

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