The French government banned its officials this Friday from installing the Chinese social network TikTok and other “recreational” applications on professional phones, essentially for security reasons, as other countries and institutions in Europe have already done. “These applications constitute a risk for the protection of data management and their public agents,” the Ministry of Transformation and Public Functions explained in a statement.
The European Commission bans its employees from installing TikTok
The executive explained that the decision was made after an analysis of the challenges they faced. In practice, it will not be allowed to download or install recreational applications such as the popular Chinese social network on professional phones from the Administration. The reason is that “they do not provide sufficient levels of cyber security and data protection” so that they can be used on these computers, although the Ministry shows that derogations from this prohibition are granted on “exceptional grounds” justified. needs professionals” such as communication training.
The decision of the French authorities is one of those made by different Western governments or the European Commission in response to concerns raised by Chinese laws that oblige companies to hand over personal data when they deem it necessary for reasons of national security. France is in fact the fourth European country to make this decision, which was also followed by the European Commission after the pressure on the Chinese app innovated.
In Denmark, the Ministry of Defense banned TikTok from using public phones on March 6. In Latvia, on March 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed a ban on the use of electronic devices in the work app. The United Kingdom did the same on March 16, when TikTok was banned from official government mobile phones due to security reasons. In the Netherlands, phone services taken over by government officials will be configured so that only pre-approved applications can be installed, avoiding those “sensitive to spying” like the TikTok social network from last Wednesday.
Pressure on the US
The US officially banned TikTok from mobile phones months ago and is now considering requiring the company to cut all ties with China if it wants to continue operating in the country. The CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, held a special session with US congressmen on Thursday, and warned them that interference in that forum would be detrimental to the country’s economy and freedom of speech.
“It’s an app where people can be creative. Close to five million American businesses, most of them small, that use it to find customers and increase growth,” he told the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he noted that there are about 150 million users in it. II. Chew had met bilaterally with some lawmakers earlier this year to confirm that the company would provide privacy and security guarantees, but this was his first official appearance on Capitol Hill.
Chew mentioned that he is Singaporean and a resident of Singapore, TikTok is run by executive teams in the US and Singapore, is headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore, and is not available in mainland China. However, he said he was aware that the founders of its parent company, ByteDance, had raised suspicions about whether its platform could be used as a tool of China or the Chinese Communist Party. But “ByteDance is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government. It is a private company. I have no knowledge that the Chinese executive has access to the notice. They have never asked us,” he said.