TikTok will be banned in France for use on civil servants’ smartphones

TikTok will be banned in France for use on civil servants’ smartphones

TikTok will be banned in France for use on civil servants' smartphones

France will ban the use of Chinese video-sharing app TikTok on civil servants’ work phones, Civil Service Minister Stanislas Guerini said on his Twitter account.

“In order to ensure the cybersecurity of our administrations and civil servants, the government has decided to ban recreational applications such as TikTok on civil servants’ work phones,” he said in a statement.

He added that for several weeks, several European and international partners of France have adopted measures to restrict or prohibit the downloading and installation of the TikTok application by their administrations.

Guerini said recreational apps do not have sufficient levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be deployed on government equipment, adding that the ban is effective immediately and government departments will monitor compliance.

It specifies that, exceptionally, derogations may be granted for professional reasons, such as the institutional communication of an administration.

A series of Western governments and institutions have banned TikTok in recent weeks, including the British parliament, the Dutch and Belgian administrations and the New Zealand parliament.

Late last month, the European Union’s two biggest political institutions – the Commission and the Council – banned TikTok from staff phones over cybersecurity concerns.

Concerns have grown globally over the Chinese government’s ability to access users’ location and contact data through ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company.

Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers at a congressional hearing on Thursday accused TikTok of spreading harmful content and inflicting “emotional distress” on young users, grilling the Chinese app’s CEO over the outsized influence of the business on teenagers.

Chew, in his first appearance before Congress, said that while the “vast majority” of TikTok users are over 18, the company has invested in measures to protect young people who use the app.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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