Published on

European Commission bans staff from using TikTok – BBC News

European Commission bans staff from using TikTok – BBC News

The European Commission (EC) has issued a ban on its staff from using the popular video-sharing app, TikTok. Employees working at a key branch of the European Union are required to remove TikTok not only from their phones but also from any other device that has official EU programs installed. The EC cited concerns over data protection and cybersecurity as the primary reasons for this measure.

TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has faced numerous allegations regarding the harvesting of user data and its potential transfer to the Chinese government. Despite these accusations, TikTok maintains that its operations are no different from other social media platforms. However, the growing global concerns have prompted the EC to take action.

With approximately 32,000 civil servants working at the European Commission, this ban applies to both work and personal devices. Tablets, iPhones, and other devices that have TikTok installed are required to remove the app. The motion follows similar actions taken by the United States last year when federal employees were prohibited from using TikTok on their devices. Dutch authorities have also cautioned their government employees about the potential risks associated with TikTok.

TikTok recently announced that it has established three data centers in Europe, claiming to enhance transparency and disprove allegations that user data is sent to the Chinese government. However, concerns remain due to ByteDance's ownership of TikTok. While the EC has taken a proactive stance on this issue, it remains to be seen if other organizations and governments worldwide will follow suit.

Keywords

European Commission, TikTok, ban, data protection, cybersecurity, ByteDance, user data, Chinese government, social media platforms, United States, Netherlands, data centers, global concerns

FAQ

Q: Why has the European Commission banned staff from using TikTok?
A: The ban was implemented to safeguard data and increase cybersecurity within the organization. Concerns have been raised about TikTok's alleged data collection practices and potential transfer of user data to the Chinese government.

Q: Who owns TikTok?
A: TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Q: Has the United States taken similar action against TikTok?
A: Yes, last year, the US Senate unanimously passed a bill prohibiting federal employees from using TikTok on their devices.

Q: Are there any concerns about TikTok's data practices in other countries?
A: Yes, the Dutch authorities have also expressed concerns and cautioned their government employees about the potential risks associated with TikTok.

Q: Does TikTok claim to handle user data differently from other social media platforms?
A: TikTok insists that it operates no differently from other social media platforms and has established three data centers in Europe to demonstrate transparency in its data handling practices. However, concerns persist due to TikTok's ownership by ByteDance, a Chinese company.