The French government has implemented a ban on the use of TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, among other social media apps, for recreational purposes on employees’ phones due to concerns about data security measures. The ban was announced on Friday by Stanislas Guerini, the Minister of Transformation and Public Service and is effective immediately.
On Friday, Stanislas Guerini stated that “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”.
Prohibited applications include gaming applications like Candy Crush, streaming applications like Netflix, and recreational applications like TikTok,” Stanislas Guerini explained on Twitter, adding that Twitter itself is also on the list.
Civil servants who require the usage of any of the prohibited apps for official communication are obligated to obtain specific permission from their ministry’s digital directorate.
The minister also stated that any penalties for noncompliance will be determined by the ‘managerial level of each ministry. It is worth noting that the White House, European Commission, Canadian, and British governments have also imposed bans on their officials from using TikTok on their work phones.
There has been growing concern over the possibility of the Chinese government gaining access to users’ location and contact information through ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok. This concern has led to several governments imposing bans on the app’s use on work phones of their officials. The worry stems from the app’s ownership by a Chinese company and the potential for data to be accessed by the Chinese government, leading to questions about the privacy and security of user data.