TikTok is prohibited on work devices by the European Commission

The background and a phone both display the TikTok logo

The TikTok app must be removed from all personal and work-related devices by employees of the European Commission.

The purpose of the measure, according to the commission, is to "protect data and improve cybersecurity.".

The Chinese company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, has come under fire for allegedly collecting user data and giving it to the Chinese government.

TikTok insists that how it functions is the same as how other social media do.

Thierry Breton, the industry chief for the European Union (EU), said at a news conference that the executive of the union is very focused on cybersecurity but he would not go into further detail.

Employees of the European Commission are also prohibited from using TikTok on personal devices that have official apps installed due to the ban.

According to the commission, it employs about 32,000 both contract and permanent workers.

By no later than March 15th, they need to take the app down.

The corporate apps, including Skype for Business and the commission email, won't be accessible to those who don't comply by the deadline.

According to TikTok, the commission's decision was made based on false assumptions about its platform.

According to a spokesperson, "We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe to be misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions.

Last year, TikTok acknowledged that some employees in China have access to the data of users from Europe.

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has come under more and more Western scrutiny in recent months due to concerns about Beijing's access to user data.

Due to concerns about national security, the US government last year prohibited TikTok on devices provided by the federal government.

The US is concerned that TikTok could be used by the Chinese government to gain access to those devices and US user data.

Due to similar worries, the Dutch government reportedly advised public servants to avoid the app last month.

In a recent interview with Sky News, the chair of the UK's Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Alicia Kerns, MP, urged users to delete the app.

According to analytics company Sensor Tower Data, TikTok has experienced rapid growth and was the first non-Meta app to reach three billion downloads worldwide.

In January, when the social media platform's CEO, Shou Zi Chew, was in Brussels for talks with EU representatives, they cautioned TikTok to ensure the security of European users' data and added that it still had a long way to go to earn their trust.

According to an EU spokesman at the time, he insisted that the company was developing a "robust" system for processing Europeans' data in Europe.

To allay Washington's concerns, TikTok also pledged to store user data from US citizens there.

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