EU Bans TikTok From Official Devices At All Three Government Institutions | CNN affairs



The European Parliament on Tuesday banned TikTok on staff devices over cybersecurity concerns, meaning the Chinese video-sharing app is now banned in all three of the EU’s main institutions.

“In view of cybersecurity concerns, in particular with regard to data protection and data collection by third parties, the European Parliament, in agreement with other institutions, has decided to ban the use of the TikTok mobile application on business from March 20, 2023. suspend devices. it said in a statement.

Parliament “strongly recommended” that its members and staff remove TikTok from their personal devices.

TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, told CNN: “It is disappointing to see other government agencies and institutions ban TikTok on employee devices without consultation or evidence.”

“These bans are based on basic misinformation about our company, and we are readily available to meet with officials to rectify our ownership structure and our commitment to privacy and data security. We share a common goal with governments concerned about user privacy, but these bans are misplaced and do nothing to promote privacy or security,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“We appreciate that some governments have wisely chosen not to introduce such bans due to a lack of evidence that there is such a need.”

Last week, the European Commission announced it was banning TikTok from official devices, citing cybersecurity concerns.

A senior EU official on the European Council told CNN that the General Secretariat of the Council, the body that assists the permanent representatives of the 27 EU countries in Brussels, is “implementing measures similar to those of the Commision. ”

“It will remove the application on company devices and ask staff to remove it from personal mobile devices accessing company services,” the official added. “The Secretariat continuously monitors its cybersecurity measures in close cooperation with the other EU institutions.”

The European Commission said last week that their decision to ban TikTok only applies to devices overseen by the EU’s executive.

“This measure aims to protect the Commission against cyber threats and actions that can be exploited for cyber-attacks against the Commission’s business environment,” it said in a statement.

A TikTok spokesperson told CNN that in a statement at the time it had contacted the commission to “put things right and explain how we protect the data of the 125 million people across the EU who come to TikTok each month.”

Earlier, TikTok had disclosed to European users that China-based employees can access EU user data. The company also recently announced plans to open two new data centers in Europe.

TikTok is facing a similar investigation on the other side of the Atlantic.

On Monday, the White House directed federal agencies to remove TikTok from all government-issued devices within 30 days, with few exceptions.

The move added to growing efforts by the United States to clamp down on the app amid renewed security concerns.

US officials have expressed concern that the Chinese government could pressure ByteDance into handing over information collected from users that could be used for intelligence or disinformation purposes. As CNN previously reported, independent security experts have said this type of access is a possibility, although no incident of such access has been reported to date.

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, called the ban “little more than political theatre”.

“The ban on TikTok on federal devices was passed in December without any consultation, and unfortunately that approach has served as a blueprint for other world governments,” Oberwetter said in a statement.

“We hope that when it comes to addressing national security concerns about TikTok outside of government devices, Congress will explore solutions that do not have the effect of censoring the voices of millions of Americans.”

China also responded to the decision on Tuesday, with a State Department spokesman accusing Washington of “generalizing the concept of national security” and “unreasonably suppressing other countries’ enterprises.”

The Canadian government announced a similar ban on TikTok on official electronic devices on Monday.

Other countries may soon face the same problem.

When asked if Australia would soon follow the United States, the European Union and Canada, Australia’s treasurer Jim Chalmers said the country had not yet been advised to restrict the use of the app by government employees.

“We will take the advice of our national security services to heart. That has not been the advice so far,” Chalmers told Australian broadcaster ABC in an interview on Wednesday.

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