France Prohibits Use of Twitter and TikTok on Work Phones for Civil Servants
Authorities in Paris announced that TikTok, Twitter and other well-known programs will no longer be allowed to use the mobile devices of government employees because they provide inadequate data protection and data protection on Friday.
France’s Ministry of Public Sector Reform and Civil Service has announced new restrictions on Twitter, which is somewhat ironic since it is also included in the ban, along with streaming services Instagram and Netflix.
France is the latest country to take such a security-related measure against TikTok. But the French decision also includes other platforms widely used by government officials, lawmakers and even President Emmanuel Macron himself, which could complicate matters.
France’s Minister of Transformation and Public Administration, Stanislas Guerini, said in a statement that “entertainment” apps are not secure enough to be used in state administrative services and “could pose a risk to data protection.”
The French cybersecurity agency will monitor the ban. The statement did not specify which apps were banned, but indicated that the decision came after other governments took action targeting TikTok.
Guerini’s office said in a letter to the Associated Press (AP) that the ban would also include Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, gaming apps like Candy Crush and dating apps.
Exceptions will be allowed. If an administrator wants to use a blocked app for professional purposes, such as public communication, they can ask for permission to do so. Case in point: Guerini posted the ban announcement on Twitter.
The Chinese-owned short video app has also been banned on smartphones of government employees by the United States, Germany, Britain and the European Commission. Because of concerns that Chinese intelligence operatives could use TikTok to collect data and manipulate users, US officials are also considering a complete ban on the app.
While Tiktok rejects all allegations. The software, which is part of the China-based internet company ByteDance, has been downloaded by more than 1 billion users globally.
Chinese authorities could force TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance Ltd. , on handing over data on international users or pushing pro-Beijing narratives.
The company’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, rejected assertions that TikTok or ByteDance were tools of the Chinese government during questioning Thursday. The company reiterated that 60% of ByteDance is owned by global institutional investors.
A law implemented in China in 2017 requires companies to give the government any personal data that is relevant to the country’s national security. There is no evidence that TikTok has ever handed out such data, but concerns abound due to the sheer amount of user data it collects.
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