TikTok and Chinese espionage

TikTok and Chinese espionage

The government in the United States is considering banning the Chinese application TikTok which is suspected of espionage on behalf of Beijing. Australia also accuses the application of endangering national security, while India has already banned it.

The application in question is one of the younger generations’ favourite social networks. One billion eight hundred million people use this application, 5.4 million of them in France. Europe’s independence is truly at stake if information is being collected on a sample this size.

On 22 July 2020, French Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Catherine Griset of the Identity and Democracy Group posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission. MEP Griset asked the European Commission “does it have additional information concerning whether Beijing might indeed be using the application for espionage?” and “if this is indeed the case, will it ban it?”

On 15 December, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders responded on behalf of the European Commission and stated that “the Commission has no additional information concerning whether Beijing might be using the application TikTok for espionage”.

Commissioner Reynders asserted that “the EU institutions and its Member States are observing closely this situation” and “recently, the European Data Protection Board decided to establish a taskforce in order to acquire a more comprehensive overview of TikTok’s practices across the EU”. He further explained that “Member States national authorities are responsible for monitoring the application of the General Data Protection Regulation and, pursuant to Article 58.2 have ‘corrective powers’, including to decide ‘a ban on processing’ or ‘order the suspension of data flows to a recipient in a third country’”.

In ending, Commissioner Reynders declared that “national security being primarily a national competence, the EU does not have executive competence to prohibit individual services on grounds of suspected espionage or other security threats”.

Source: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-004346_EN.html

Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/tiktok-social-media-videos-tik-tok-5409103/

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