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.
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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.
TikTok said the bans were “misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions” and called for “due process and equal treatment.”
The company added the decision was taken “on the basis of fears rather than facts.”
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.
Last week, however, the company insisted it protects the data of its 125 million monthly users in the European Union.
The White House on 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.”
European Parliament to ban TikTok from staff phones: EU official
White House: No more TikTok on gov’t devices within 30 days
China says US overstretching concept of national security on TikTok ban
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