The European Commission, European Union’s executive organ has ordered its staff members to delete social media app, TikTok, from their corporate devices.
The order was given via an email sent on Thursday.
The Commission informed staff members of its decision “to suspend the TikTok application on corporate devices and personal devices enrolled in the Commission mobile device service.”
Staff members were given till March 15, to delete the video-sharing app from affected devices.
The news was confirmed in a release by the commission where it was stated that the directive was aimed at protecting the Commission against “cybersecurity threats”, Bloomberg reports.
The statement read in part, “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.”
Reacting to the move, a TikTok spokesperson stated, “We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe to be misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions.
“We have contacted the Commission to set the record straight and explain how we protect the data of the 125 million people across the EU who come to TikTok every month.”
The ban comes amid a crackdown by the United States on the Chinese multinational, and parent company of Tiktok, ByteDance.
In December last year, lawmakers of the US Senate introduced a bill to ban the use of the video sharing platform in the country.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that the app was not just about creating videos, but it serves as a major tool in the hands of the Chinese Government to obtain sensitive data from Americans.
The introduction of the bill followed a flurry of actions already taken by Republican-led states in the country such as Texas, South Dakota, Maryland, which have all moved to restrict the use of TikTok on government-owned devices.
Similarly, the US military, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security have all restricted the app from operating on their computer devices.
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