EU Commission Bans TikTok on Staff Phones

Have you considered the implications of your own employees use of potentially dangerous apps on devices they use for work?

By Entrepreneur Europe Staff

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According to popular video-sharing app TikTok, more than 150 million people across Europe use the platform every month. Starting soon, however, none of them will be employees of the European Commission. Citing privacy concerns, the policy-making body is giving its staffers until 15 March to delete the app, which is owned by China's ByteDance. The move extends to the use of the platform on corporate devices and personal devices enrolled in the Commission mobile device system.

"This measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the Commission. The security developments of other social media platforms will also be kept under constant review," said a statement.

The ban comes amid rising tensions between Beijing and the West and follows a similar ban implemented for Congressional representatives in the United States in December. TikTok, meanwhile, has been issuing statements reiterating its focus "on building trust with our community by demonstrating to them that their data is secure" after issuing a data governance strategy throughout Europe last year intended to reduce employee access to European user data and store that data locally. Since the Commission announced the measure, TikTok has issued a statement calling it "misguided" and restating a commitment to data security.

The data on your employees' phones may not have quite the same national security implications as that on the devices of Commission staffers, but keeping it all safe is still a major concern for any small-business owner. Remember to encourage employees to use passwords on all devices on which they conduct work-related communications and business and are trained in recognizing potential security threats, like phishing scams. On company-issued devices, be sure there is a "wipe" ability that can be toggled on remotely in the event a phone is stolen or lost and your technical employees keep all devices up-to-date with the latest security patches, updates, and software.

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