LONDON — The European Union’s government department stated Thursday that it has briefly banned TikTok from phones utilized by workers as a cybersecurity measure, reflecting widening worries from Western officers over the Chinese language-owned video sharing app.
In a primary for the European Commission, its Company Administration Board suspended the usage of TikTok on gadgets issued to workers or private gadgets that workers use for work.
TikTok faces intensifying scrutiny from Europe and the U.S. over safety and information privateness amid worries that the vastly common app may very well be used to advertise pro-Beijing views or sweep up customers’ info. It comes as China and the West are locked in a wider tug of warfare over expertise ranging from spy balloons to laptop chips.
The EU’s motion follows related strikes within the U.S., the place greater than half of the states and Congress have banned TikTok from official authorities gadgets.
“The rationale why this resolution has been taken is to … improve the fee’s cybersecurity,” fee spokesperson Sonya Gospodinova stated at a press briefing in Brussels. “Additionally, the measure goals to guard the fee in opposition to cybersecurity threats and actions which can be exploited for cyberattacks in opposition to the company surroundings of the fee.”
TikTok didn’t reply instantly to a request for remark.
Commission spokespeople declined to say whether or not one thing particular triggered the suspension or what’s wanted to get it lifted.
Staffers can be required to delete TikTok from personal gadgets that they use for skilled enterprise by March 15, EU representatives stated, however didn’t present any particulars on how that may be enforced.
In Norway, which isn’t a member of the 27-nation EU, the justice minister was pressured to apologize this month for failing to reveal that she had put in TikTok on her government-issued cellphone.
TikTok additionally has come beneath stress from the EU to adjust to upcoming new digital rules aimed toward getting massive on-line platforms to wash up poisonous and unlawful content material together with the bloc’s strict information privateness guidelines.