For security reasons, the TikTok application has been banned by the European Commission on the institution’s various work computers and devices. ByteDance, the app’s parent company, communicated that the action is “wrong” and has contacted the commission seeking to “set the record straight.” This executive body of the European Union (EU) communicated this decision to its thousands of employees in pursuit of cybersecurity against the Chinese-owned app.
Through an email, the European Commission informed its employees about the request to remove TikTok from work phones and devices. This decision is for all devices that are personally owned by the EU and used by the commission. The decision of the executive body will begin to be audited as of March 15.
The European spokesperson communicated that “this measure aims to protect the commission against cyber security threats and actions that can be exploited for cyber attacks against the commission’s corporate environment.” In this report, the agency noted that “the security developments of other social networking platforms will also be kept under constant review”.
The fears of the European Commission
As reported by the agency, this decision is being made under the ban in accordance with its “strict internal cybersecurity policies.” Similarly, long-standing advice to staff to “apply best practices when using social media platforms” is common. This is intended to “maintain a high level of cyber awareness in their daily work”.
The spokesperson explained that “it is our duty to respond as soon as possible to possible cyber alerts”. The parent company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, denied any data security issues related to its products. That is why he is trying to “clear things up” with the EU commission.
TikTok fights back
For its part, the app’s spokesperson noted that “we are disappointed with this decision, which we believe is misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions.” In addition, it was noted that “we have contacted the committee to make things clear”. The TikTok spokesperson also commented that the company has explained “how we protect the data of the 125 million people across the EU who visit TikTok each month.”
ByteDance said it will continue to strengthen its security focus, including the recent announcement of the establishment of three new data centers in Europe. In this way, TikTok’s parent company has shown its work in relation to “taking care” of users’ information. One of the issues centered on where the data is stored, whether it is stored locally or whether it is exported to China or other foreign jurisdictions.
On the one hand, the company is working on reducing employee access to data, an internal report learned. On the other hand, governments and officials in Europe and the United States have been taking measures very similar to the one decided by the European Commission. Limiting the use of the application, mainly in equipment used for work purposes, was the first decision of government agencies.