The European Commission has ordered its employees to remove the TikTok app from their personal and work devices, in what it terms as measures to “ protect data and increase cybersecurity.”
The social media platform owned by ByteDance has been under sharp criticism over allegations that data collected on the app is sent to the Chinese government. Several countries including the US and others across Europe have raised concerns over some of the company’s practices, although no concrete evidence has been linked to the said practice.
The is supposed to take effect next month and would affect thousands of employees of the Council, a top decision-making organ of the European Union.
“This measure aims to protect the commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyberattacks against the corporate environment of the commission,” the commission said.
Commenting on the ban, a TikTok spokesman said the European Commission’s ban was “misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions.”
In the United States, a group of bipartisan legislators in Congress has introduced legislation that would ban TikTok for all American employees.
TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2022 in both the world and the U.S., according to analytics firm Apptopia. TikTok said last week it had 150 million users across Europe.