It’s no shock to see another countries banning TikTok from government phones, but France is going even further with restrictions. The world reports the French government bans “recreational” applications like TikTok, Twitter, Netflix and even candy Crush civil servants’ devices. The applications represent cybersecurity risks that could jeopardize the data of employees and the administration, according to the cabinet of the Minister of the Public Service Stanislas Guerini.
The government has not provided an exact list of banned apps. However, Guerini said there might be some exceptions for necessary communication reasons. It won’t stop a social media team from posting content, in other words. The ban takes effect immediately, but penalties for breaking the rule can be decided at the “management level”, according to Guerini’s office. The approach does not affect personal devices.
Repression comes after the United States federal governmentdozens of states, Canadathe European Commission and Great Britain have banned TikTok on their employees’ devices. In these cases, the reasoning has been similar: officials are concerned that the Chinese government is collecting data on important people, spreading propaganda and forcing ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) to hand over sensitive information.
TikTok has repeatedly denied any collaboration with the Chinese government. In testimony before a House committee yesterday, CEO Shou Chew said that ByteDance was “not an agent of China” and that US user data would not be accessible to staff in other countries until the end of a migration project more late this year.
The French policy, however, does not target a particular country or category of applications. Instead, it represents a general concern that entertainment apps may put government data at unnecessary risk. That’s not so hot for employees hoping to watch Netflix over lunch, but it may reassure politicians who fear employees may inadvertently leak information through their social media accounts.