The European Union (EU) executive arm, the European Commission (EC), ordered its staff to be removed popular in the stratosphere social media platform TikTok from official smartphones and devices, citing security concerns.
Behind BBC news (opens in a new tab)the diktat, which has a deadline of March 15, 2023, appears as TikTok still under pressure from the West due to allegations by its owners, the Chinese company ByteDance, sending international user data to the state government, which it may be forced to do according to local laws.
Despite ByteDance’s continued claims that it does not treat data in this way, which would mean that TikTok is essentially a mass surveillance tool, this should raise concerns around identity theftand the general sanctity of a person’s online privacy.
TikTok, EU and you
Sonya Gospodinova, an EU spokeswoman, said the decision was made by the EC’s corporate board.
“[It] aims to protect the Commission from cybersecurity threats and activities that could be used for cyberattacks on the Commission’s corporate environment.”
Employees who do not comply with the new rule are warned that they will be banned from official EC applications, including mail clientand video conferencing software Skype for Business. Given that the EC employs around 32,000 people, this could be disruptive.
Despite admitting last year that TikTok could access European user data, ByteDance strenuously denies the need for bans that world governments, including US AND Netherlands have passed or have publicly considered passing in recent years.
As noted by the BBC, TikTok’s chief executive Shou Zi Chew stated in January that the social media platform was working on a “robust” system to handle European users’ data securely, following condemnation from EU officials.
The service was banned throughout the United States pondered in 2020although this seems to have been removed. AND banned all over India entered into force in the same year.