On Thursday, February 23, the European Commission’s IT service sent emails to all employees of the executive body of the European Union, requesting that the TikTok video service application be removed from their work devices as well as from personal devices that use EC applications and services is removed. The requirement arises from the need to ensure data protection.
EC employees must remove the short video app by Chinese company ByteDance by March 15 at the latest. Those who fail to meet the deadline will be blocked from accessing service applications such as work email and Skype for Business.
EU Spokesperson Sonya Gospodinova specifiedthat the Corporate Governance Council of the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, took the decision for security reasons. “This measure aims to protect the Commission from cybersecurity threats and measures that can be used for cyberattacks on the business environment of the Commission”, She said.
“We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe is wrong and based on fundamental misunderstandings. We have reached out to the Commission to clarify and explain how we protect the data of the 125 million people across the EU who log on to TikTok every month.” reported Resource EURACTIV TikTok representative.
The European Commission, based in Brussels and the executive body of the European Union, employs around 32,000 permanent and temporary workers.
Late last year, the United States banned government employees from using TikTok on work devices. Last November, TikTok admitted that employees at the company’s headquarters in China could access the personal data of users in the EU and around the world. The admission came after Forbes published revelations that the app had been used to spy on American journalists.
Last August, the Financial Times reported that the UK parliament had deleted his TikTok account just a week after registering it after lawmakers raised concerns about the spy app used by Beijing.
In an attempt to rectify the situation, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew held a meeting with senior EU officials last month where he was made clear that the company still has a long way to go to regain credibility.