On Monday, a Polish government advisory body recommended banning the use TikTok on the work phones of public administration employees, joining a growing chorus of Western countries and organizations that have clamped down on what they percieve as imminent data security risks posed by the social network.
“The Digitization Council expresses a positive opinion regarding the order to remove the Chinese TikTok application by public administration officials and employees from their work phones,” it was quoted as saying in the recommendation by wyborcza.pl website.
Read more: Biden’s TikTok Dilemma: Go After China Or Pursue Social Media Antitrust Claims
The recommendations of the Council are not binding for the government.
A string of Western governments and institutions have banned TikTok in recent weeks, including the UK parliament, the Dutch and Belgian administrations and the New Zealand parliament. US legislators held a high profile hearing last week, pressuring TikTok’s management on the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the level of control China’s government has over the data and other assets held by TikTok abroad.
TikTok has a long list of privacy scandals under its belt that have placed the company in the gunsights for regulators across the political spectrum. In December 2022, the company admitted that it had spied on journalists using their location data, in an attempt to track down the source of leaked information.
TikTok’s defenders have hit back at the regulatory impulse by citing principles of free speech and tolerance, while also reassuring governments and customers over their actions to safeguard personal data. Comparisons between TikTok’s own data handling and those of its western competitors have also been made, alleging a ‘double standard’ when compared to deferential treatment of Big Tech companies who collect and process similar mounts of data.