After the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, today France also bans the use of TikTok on all government devices. The news comes directly from Stanislas Guerini, Minister of Transformation and Public Service, who explained in a press release that the Chinese social network managed by ByteDance would have been banned from the smartphones of all government employees. Not only: the French provision bans all apps for recreational purposes.
“In recent weeks, several European and international partners have taken measures to limit or prohibit the download and installation of the TikTok application by their public administrations,” reads the press release. “After careful consideration, particularly regarding security, the government has decided to ban the downloading and installation of recreational applications on devices provided to public officials.”
Not just TikTok: France bans all recreational apps
The press release explains that the ban will have immediate effect and that due exceptions will be granted to certain professional categories. The motivation does not differ too much from the one that led to the ban of TikTok in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom: national security.
“The IT security of our administrations and public services is a priority”, the press release concludes.
It therefore remains to understand what, specifically, a recreational app is. We can assume that, in addition to TikTok, France wants to ban all platforms that are not useful for the work of its employees. They could therefore be included among these Netflix, Twitter, Instagram and various mobile games. Among the exceptions there would obviously be those at work: those who manage the government’s social channels will obviously be allowed to install apps such as Instagram and Twitter.
Does the Western World Ban TikTok?
The European Commission last month issued a ban on all its employees using TikTok on work devices. What is worrying is ByteDance’s lack of transparency regarding the processing of users’ personal data. According to some analysts the company would make the collected data available to the Chinese government.
For months ByteDance has been trying to reassure European governments, offering various solutions. Among these is the creation of a data center in Europe, dedicated solely to the management of personal data of European users. However, it seems clear that this tug of war will not be resolved with promises.