The primary governing bodies of the European Union has imposed a ban on employees installing TikTok on work-related devices due to concerns about data security. This action prompted a furious response from the company. ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, has come under increasing Western scrutiny in recent months due to concerns about Beijing’s access to user data.
Staff at the European Commission and the European Council, which represents member states, are affected by the ban, however, the European Parliament has not yet made a decision that is comparable. Employees who have official EU email and communication apps installed on their personal devices, such as smartphones, are prohibited from using the video-sharing app on work devices.
The Commission instructed employees to delete the application by March 15, 2023. According to Sonya Gospodinova, a spokeswoman for the EU, the decision was made for security reasons by the Commission’s corporate management board, which is the EU’s executive arm.
According to Sonya Gospodinova, the measure aims to protect the Commission from cybersecurity threats and actions that could be used to launch cyberattacks against the Commission’s corporate environment. Barend Leyts, a spokesperson for the European Council said that the organization would remove the application from corporate devices and ask employees to remove it from personal mobile devices that have access to corporate services.
The suspension, according to a TikTok spokesperson, is erroneous and based on fundamental misconceptions. The cybersecurity risks, according to EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton, influenced the Commission’s decision.
Thierry Breton added that the European Commission has placed a strong emphasis on cybersecurity since the beginning of its mandate, protecting our colleagues and, of course, everyone working here at the Commission. However, the company denies any control or access by the Chinese government.
By establishing three data centers in Europe to store user data locally, further restricting employee access to data, and minimizing data flows outside of Europe, TikTok is enhancing their approach to data security.