The European Commission has told staff to remove the TikTok app from their phones and other devices. Accroding to the commission, the order was implemented to better “protect data and increase cybersecurity”.
This follows on shortly after the US Congress and House of Representatives banned the app from staff devices in December for similar security reasons. TikTok has faced allegations that the company collect user data and supply it to the Chinese government. TikTok, which is run by ByteDance, insists that it does no such thing.
“The measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyberattacks against the corporate environment of the commission,” said EU spokeswoman Sonya Gospodinova in a statement.
The ban affects around 32,000 employees who must remove the app by mid-March. It also includes any personal devices if they are also used for government related activities.
Last month the Dutch authorities followed suit, also implementing a ban. However, TikTok insists that it is the result of rumours, and that it is merely just another social media app like Facebook or Instagram.
“We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe to be misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to Politico.