Mitsotakis uses TikTok despite deepening EU concern on Chinese spying

By 2 months ago

"Faster, bolder, to take Greece further and higher," was the message sent by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on social media on the announcement of the elections that will take place on May 21.

However, he chose to use TikTok for his message, a Chinese social media app under intense EU scrutiny.

"So we announced the date of the elections to be held on May 21. Until then we will have the opportunity to say a lot. To make an honest account of our work in these four years, what we achieved, to speak honestly about our weaknesses and our mistakes. To remind the citizens where Greece was in 2019 and where Greece is in 2023. To remind the citizens that we kept our central pre-election commitments," he said.

"We cut taxes, we cut contributions, we created more jobs, we protected our borders, we strengthened our national defense, we digitised the state.

"But we will also talk about the many things that need to be done from now on. For the fact that wages in our country are still low and must rise, that our young people have problems finding housing, to talk about the weaknesses that exist in the National Health System which may have endured despite the pandemic but is still facing still great difficulties.

"And above all, let's talk about all the things that hold us back, about the great pathologies of the state, about the foci of anachronism, of worthlessness.

"All this we must scan with even greater speed. And this is the mandate that I will personally request from the Greek people. Faster, bolder to take Greece further and higher. And we will vote on this on May 21."

@kyriakosmitsotakis_ ✌️🇬🇷 #fyp #tiktokgreece ♬ original sound - Kyriakos Mitsotakis

The European Parliament earlier this month banned TikTok from staff devices over cybersecurity concerns, meaning the Chinese video-sharing app is now barred in all three of the EU's main institutions.

"In view of cybersecurity concerns, in particular regarding data protection and collection of data by third parties, the European Parliament has decided, in alignment with other institutions, to suspend as from 20 March 2023, the use of the TikTok mobile application on corporate devices," it said in a statement.

The parliament also "strongly recommended" that its members and staff remove TikTok from their personal devices.

TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, told CNN "it's disappointing to see that other government bodies and institutions are banning TikTok on employee devices with no deliberation or evidence."

"These bans are based on basic misinformation about our company, and we are readily available to meet with officials to set the record straight about our ownership structure and our commitment to privacy and data security. We share a common goal with governments that are concerned about user privacy, but these bans are misguided and do nothing to further privacy or security," a spokesperson said in a statement.

"We appreciate that some governments have wisely chosen not to implement such bans due to a lack of evidence that there is any such need."

Last week, the European Commission announced it was banning TikTok from official devices, citing cybersecurity concerns.

A senior EU official in the European Council told CNN that the General Secretariat of the Council, the body that assists the permanent representatives of the EU's 27 countries based in Brussels, "is in the process of implementing measures similar to those taken by the Commission."

"It will be uninstalling the application on corporate devices and requesting staff to uninstall it from personal mobile devices that have access to corporate services," the official added. "The Secretariat continuously keeps its cybersecurity measures under review in close cooperation with the other EU institutions."

The European Commission said last week their decision to ban TikTok applies only to devices overseen by the EU's executive branch.
"This measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the Commission," it said in a statement.

A TikTok spokesperson told CNN in a statement at the time that it had 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."

Previously, TikTok had disclosed to European users that China-based employees may access EU user data. The company also recently announced plans to open two new data centers in Europe.


Copyright GreekCityTimes 2022
Copyright GreekCityTimes 2022