Romania is the following country to forbid TikTok on the smartphones of state employees after other states took similar measures. According to official sources, the Romanian Government concluded that TikTok uses personal data illegally.
Following an analysis conducted by unknown entities and individuals, the conclusion is that this application presents security risks. Several problems have been identified: the platform reserves the right to delete information, it shares collected data with third parties, and it also collects device data such as phone numbers or SIM card codes, and data can be stored anywhere.
Also, Romania’s Minister for Digitalization, Sebastian Burduja, didn’t exclude the possibility of forbidding TikTok altogether for the whole population.
I don’t think there can be a problem with banning the download of an application at the level of the common citizen. As a liberal, I am allergic to the word forbidding a man if he wants it. This does not mean that we will not carry out a process of informing Romanians about the possible risks to which they are subject. We will see how things developRomania’s Minister for Digitalization, Sebastian Burduja, on the possibility of banning TikTok for the whole population
TikTok representatives argued that the analysis led to false results and that TikTok doesn’t collect more data than any other app.
We are disappointed by this recommendation, which appears to be based on inaccurate information about our platform and what data we do or do not collect. Independent security experts have repeatedly concluded that we collect no more data than typical applications. The information users choose to provide us and the information that helps the app work is collected to help us operate safely and improve the user experience.TikTok Press Release
Our users’ data is securely stored in the US, Singapore and Malaysia, and we are opening new data centers in Europe. We are committed to being transparent about our practices and detailing what data we collect and how we use it. In addition, we have already interacted with the relevant authorities to provide them with the necessary information, and we are still ready to discuss to clarify any concerns.
Some of the information in the report describing the data that TikTok allegedly collects (such as keystrokes, device IMEI, SIM card serial number or GPS location) is false, as we have explained several times.
According to studies on social media in Romania, TikTok has more than 7 million users above 18 in the country, which makes it one of the leading platforms.
TikTok users don’t like the authorities’ movement to ban their favourite app. For them, it doesn’t matter which app collects their data, American or Chinese. Besides, the lame representation of the American Congressmen while hearing Shou Zi Chew in the Senate made them conclude: the only fault TikTok has is that it is not American.
Silly questions of the congressmen, such as “Is it true that TikTok has access to the internet?” or “Is it true that the Communist Party controls the app?” made TikTok users perfectly understand the situation.
We live in times when slogans like “Huawei is the wrong way” can be pretty convincing, especially when the American Embassy says it. Such slogans determine Governments to give up better solutions for allied ones. These are times of economic and real war, and those who cannot adapt are the ones who suffer the most.
Romania will take an official decision soon, and the TikTok app will be forbidden on states’ smartphones. It might even boost the public clerks’ productivity, but you never know.