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France bans TikTok, Twitter and Instagram from the phones of its Government Employees

Because of worries about inadequate data security measures, France has banned the “recreational” use of TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and other apps on the phones of government employees. According to a Friday tweet from the Ministry of Public Sector Transformation and the Civil Service, the ban will take effect right away.

“In order to guarantee the cybersecurity of our administrations and civil servants, the government has decided to ban recreational applications such as TikTok on the professional phones of civil servants,” Stanislas Guerini said on Friday.

He went on to say that for several weeks, several of France’s European and international partners have taken steps to restrict or prohibit their administrations from downloading, installing, or using the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok.

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Guerini stated that recreational applications lack adequate levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be deployed on administrations’ equipment, but that exceptions can be granted for professional reasons, such as institutional communication of an administration.

In recent weeks, the White House, the UK parliament, the Dutch and Belgian administrations, the New Zealand parliament, and the governments of Canada, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Jordan have all banned TikTok.

credit: economictimes

Concerns about the alleged security risks posed by TikTok have been raised most prominently by US lawmakers and national security officials, who claim that the app’s user data could be accessed by the Chinese government.

After FBI Director Christopher Wray stated in November that TikTok poses risks to national security, calls to ban it from government devices gained momentum.

The Commission and the Council, the two largest policy-making bodies in the European Union, banned TikTok from staff phones late last month due to security concerns. Global worries have grown over the possibility that ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, could give the Chinese government access to users’ contact information and location information.

During questioning by US lawmakers on Thursday, the company’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, pushed back on claims that TikTok or ByteDance are tools of the Chinese government. The company has repeatedly stated that global institutional investors own 60% of ByteDance.

A 2017 law in China requires companies to provide the government with any personal data relevant to the country’s national security. There is no evidence that TikTok has turned over such data, but due to the vast amount of user data it collects, fears abound.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, claimed earlier this month that the US had not yet provided proof that TikTok posed a threat to its national security and was abusing its authority to repress foreign businesses by using the pretext of data security.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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