Citing data protection considerations, the EU executive’s IT service has asked all Commission staff to remove TikTok from their corporate devices, as well as personal devices that use corporate apps.

The request to remove the Chinese social network app was sent by email to EU officials on the morning of February 23.

“To protect the Commission’s data and increase its cybersecurity, the EC [European Commission] Corporate Management Board has decided to suspend the TikTok application on corporate devices and personal devices enrolled in the Commission mobile device services,” said the email, seen by EURACTIV.

Staff have been asked to do this as soon as possible, but no later than March 15. For those who miss the deadline, corporate applications such as Commission email and Skype for Business will no longer be available.

This measure is justified by data protection considerations related to TikTok and aims to protect the Commission’s data and systems from potential cyber security threats.

“We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe to be misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions. We have contacted the Commission to set the record straight and explain how we protect the data of the 125 million people across the EU who come to TikTok every month,” a TikTok spokesperson told EURACTIV.

Last November, TikTok admitted that the company’s Chinese headquarters could access personal data of users from around the world. This recognition came after revelations from Forbes that the app was used to spy on journalists.

Recently, TikTok was banned from government devices in the United States. While no European government has followed the US lead, Dutch officials reportedly were recommended not to use the Chinese application.

Last month, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew met with top EU officials, who told him the company had a long way to go to regain their trust.