The European Commission has banned the use of TikTok on official devices used by staff due to concerns over data protection. The ban also extends to personal devices that have the app installed, and employees have been instructed to remove it as soon as possible, with a deadline of March 15th. This move follows similar actions taken by the US government last year, which banned the app from federal government devices. Some US lawmakers are also trying to prohibit TikTok from operating in the United States.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced increasing scrutiny in Western countries over concerns about how much access Beijing has to user data. In November, TikTok admitted that some staff in China can access the data of European users.
TikTok's CEO Shou Zi Chew recently met with EU officials in Brussels and promised to work on a "robust" system for processing Europeans' data within Europe. The company has also promised to hold US users' data in the United States to allay concerns from Washington.
The ban by the European Commission highlights growing concerns about Chinese-owned tech companies and their access to user data. While TikTok has become hugely popular around the world, its links to China have raised questions about privacy and security.