The European Commission has banned its staff from using TikTok, BBC News reports. The measure is aimed at “protecting data and enhancing cyber security”.

The platform is facing accusations of collecting user data and passing it on to the Chinese government. The company insists it operates no differently from other social media.

EU spokeswoman Sonja Gospodinova said that the corporate board of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, took the decision for security reasons.

“The measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyberattacks against the corporate environment of the commission,”

she said.

The ban also means that European Commission staff cannot use TikTok on personal devices where the app is installed.

The Commission claims to have around 32 000 permanent and contract staff. They must remove the application as soon as possible, but no later than 15 March.

For those who do not comply by the deadline, corporate apps – such as the commission’s email and Skype for Business – will no longer be available.

TikTok said the commission’s decision was based on misconceptions about its platform.

“We are disappointed by this decision, which we believe is wrong and based on fundamental misconceptions,”

a spokesperson said.

Last year, TikTok admitted that some officials in China had access to European users’ data.

This is a new stage in the growing tensions between Beijing and the West after accusations surfaced that China deliberately created the platform in order to hinder the mental development of the adolescent generation in the West. This is evidenced by the Chinese version of the app, which, unlike that used around the world, showcases the achievements of school and university students, provides good examples and stimulates the development of society.

Something quite different from the TikTok challenges that Europeans and Americans dare to do, some of which result in deaths.

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