Simon Harris Addresses TikTok Ban in Ireland and Provides Statement

TikTok, the widely popular social media platform, has been the subject of intense scrutiny in Ireland recently, with many wondering whether the app has been banned in the country. According to the vice president of government relations and public policy for TikTok in Europe, Theo Bertram, the company’s 3,000 Irish employees are not under threat from the wave of prohibitions and limits being implemented on institutional intelligent devices throughout Europe.

Bertram has stated that it is “logical” for the Irish National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to examine the security of the social media platform. This comes after the cyber chief of the NCSC announced that they would be speaking with Ireland’s data protection commissioner about the security of using TikTok.

The European Commission’s prohibition on the social media app on team member phones has prompted Ireland’s Minister of Justice, Simon Harris, to request a formal security review. TikTok has assured Irish authorities that their European data will be stored locally in a data center.

However, the European Commission’s prohibition on the app on official devices used by personnel has raised concerns about data protection, leading to the question of whether TikTok is banned in Ireland. The prohibition prevents employees of the European Commission (EC) from using the app on any personal device with official EC apps installed. The Chinese-owned app was requested to be removed via email from EU officials on Thursday morning.

The email cited concerns about cybersecurity and stated that the EC Corporate Management Board had decided to stop the app on business and personal devices enrolled in the Commission mobile device services. Those who do not comply with the directive to remove the app by March 15th will not have access to corporate tools like Skype and the EC email.

Despite the European Commission’s concerns about TikTok’s cybersecurity, TikTok has remained adamant that the app is safe to use. The app has also come under scrutiny in other countries, including the United States, where it was nearly banned by the Trump administration over national security concerns.

Simon Harris Statement

After the European Commission’s ban, the Irish government has expressed its concerns over TikTok’s security, leading to the initiation of new security measures. This comes after TikTok was previously banned on devices owned by the U.S. Congress and several U.S. states. The CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, is scheduled to appear before the US Congress in March to discuss the potential threats to U.S. national security that his company may pose.

TikTok had previously admitted that its Chinese headquarters had access to the personal information of its users worldwide. The head of privacy for TikTok in Europe, Elaine Fox, revealed that some employees in China, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States had access to user data from users in Europe. An investigation by Forbes revealed that the software was being used to spy on journalists.

Ireland’s data protection authority is currently investigating TikTok for allegedly sending personal information about EU citizens to China without authorization, violating GDPR regulations.

In addition to the European Commission’s ban, the US and Canada have also prohibited the use of the app on government-owned devices, while the Bank of Ireland has stated that it is considering banning the use of TikTok on work phones.

MEP Colm Markey has called for the removal of TikTok from all work-related devices until there is assurance that private data is not being transported to China. He emphasized the importance of preventing unauthorized access to critical information and stated that the security of knowledge cannot be compromised due to TikTok’s questionable data harvesting techniques.

As the tech center of Europe, Mr. Markey believes that Ireland should take the lead in addressing this issue. The Irish government has sought new security advice on TikTok to ensure the safety and security of its citizens’ data.