The EU’s executive body has banned its thousands of staff from using TikTok, as governments and officials become increasingly concerned over the company’s data practices and Chinese ownership.
The European Commission sent an email to employees ordering them to delete the app from all work phones and devices, and any personally owned ones that use the commission’s apps and email. Employees have until 15 March to comply.
A spokesperson said: “This measure aims to protect the commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the commission. The security developments of other social media platforms will also be kept under constant review.”
Governments and officials in Europe and the US have taken similar steps to limit use of the app by employees amid fears that data may be accessed by Beijing.
ByteDance, the privately owned parent company of TikTok, has denied there are any data security concerns related to its products.
Last summer, a lobbying campaign by Conservative MPs resulted in the closure of the @ukparliament TikTok account.
In the US, TikTok has been banned on all federal government devices, and most US states have imposed similar bans. Other countries including the Netherlands are assessing whether to implement restrictions on government employees using TikTok.