(FILES) This file photo taken on February 09, 2022 shows the logo of video-focused social networking service TikTok, at the TikTok UK office, in London. Canadian privacy protection regulators said February 24, 2023 that they have launched an investigation into TikTok over its use and collection of users’ personal information. The Chinese-owned platform is under growing Western scrutiny, and Canada’s move came just hours after the European Commission banned the app from all employees’ work devices to “protect” the institution.
(Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)
(AFP) – The European Parliament has told staff to purge TikTok from devices used for work because of data protection concerns, after similar moves by the EU‘s main governing bodies last week.
The parliament’s president, Roberta Metsola, and the secretary-general, Alessandro Chiocchetti, decided TikTok must not be used or installed on staff devices such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops from March 20, according to a note issued Tuesday.
“As of this date, web access to TikTok through our corporate network… will also be blocked,” the parliament’s directorate-general for innovation and technological support said in the note to around 8,000 of the institution’s employees.
It also “strongly recommended” MEPs and their staff remove TikTok from their personal devices.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, and the European Council, which represents 27 EU member states, ordered a similar ban Thursday over cybersecurity fears.
There have been a slew of similar actions in the past few days following in Washington’s footsteps against the popular video-sharing platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
The West is particularly concerned about what access China has to sensitive user data around the world, but TikTok strenuously denies Beijing has any control or access.
In November, TikTok admitted some staff in China can access the data of European users.
The White House Monday gave federal agencies 30 days to remove TikTok from all government-issued devices after a ban ordered by the US Congress late last year.
On the same day, Canada’s government banned TikTok from all phones and other devices, citing similar data protection concerns amid strained Canadian-Chinese relations.
In Europe, Denmark’s parliament announced Tuesday it had asked MPs and all staff to remove the app from mobile devices because of the “risk of spying”.
TikTok did not immediately comment on the latest parliament ban but last week insisted it protects the data of its 125 million monthly users in the European Union.
© Agence France-Presse