European Parliament latest EU body to ban TikTok from staff phones
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Parliament has banned TikTok from staff phones, following in the footsteps of two top European Union policymaking institutions and underlining the mounting unease over the Chinese short video-sharing app and who accesses its user data.
The European Commission and the EU Council last week banned TikTok from staff phones due to growing concerns about the company, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, and whether China's government could harvest users' data or advance its interests.
Beijing has regularly denied having any such intentions.
The ban, starting from March 20, will apply to corporate devices such as mobile phones and tablets which are enrolled in Parliament's mobile management application, a Parliament spokesperson said.
The assembly also strongly recommended lawmakers and staff remove TikTok from their personal devices, confirming an earlier Reuters story.
TikTok said the bans were misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions.
"TikTok is enjoyed by 125 million EU citizens and potentially depriving users from access to their representatives is a self-defeating step, especially in our shared fight against misinformation and when this action is being taken on the basis of fears rather than facts," the company said.
The U.S. Senate also banned TikTok on government-owned devices, with Canada adopting a similar decision on Monday. India has banned the app throughout the country.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Louise Heavens and Josie Kao)