France has banned the use of the TikTok app by civil servants, adding to the list of countries that have already implemented such a ban, including the US, UK, Belgium, New Zealand and Canada. In addition, France has imposed a ban on the use of other “entertainment” applications by government employees, such as Twitter, Netflix and Candy Crush. It should be noted that the ban applies only to official mobile devices and does not apply to personal gadgets.
According to Minister of the Civil Service Stanislas Guerini, these applications carry cybersecurity risks that can lead to the leakage of data of both civil servants and government agencies.
The government has not provided an exact list of banned applications. Guerini only noted that there may be some exceptions, that is, this will not prevent organizations from publishing content on social networks. The ban takes effect immediately, but penalties for violating the rule could be determined at the “administrative level,” the ministry’s office said.
As in other countries, the French government’s ban stems from concerns that Chinese authorities could force ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) to hand over confidential information about government employees.
TikTok has strongly denied cooperation with the Chinese government. Speaking before a committee of the US House of Representatives this week, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said that ByteDance is “not an agent of China” and that US user data will not be available to service employees in other countries by the time the migration project from of the company’s own data centers into the Oracle server infrastructure by the end of this year.
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