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EU Commission Bans TikTok on Staff Phones

EU Commission Bans TikTok on Staff Phones

Thursday, 23 February, 2023 - 15:00
TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The European Commission has banned Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok from its employees' corporate phones for cybersecurity reasons, EU industry chief Thierry Breton said on Thursday, the first EU institution to do so.

Owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, Tiktok is under scrutiny from governments and regulators because of concerns that China's government could use its app to harvest users' data or advance its interests.

Breton, who announced the move at a news conference in Brussels, declined to say whether the Commission had been subject to any incidents involving TikTok.

Responding to the announcement, Tiktok said it was disappointed and surprised that the Commission had not reached out before instituting the ban.

In 2022 the US Senate in December passed a bill to bar federal employees from using TikTok on government-owned devices. TikTok is banned in India.

The EU executive said in a statement that the decision would apply both to work and personal phones and devices.

"To increase its cybersecurity, the Commission's Corporate Management Board has decided to suspend the use of the TikTok application on its corporate devices and on personal devices enrolled in the Commission mobile device service," the Commission said in a statement.

"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," it said.

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