The France bans TikTok and "recreational" apps on officials' phones

TikTok was banned on the phones of French officials on March 24, 2023. © Damian Dovarganes / AP

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The French government on Friday (March 24th) banned the installation and use of "recreational" applications such as the Chinese social network TikTok or the American streaming platform Netflix on the business phones of the 2.5 million state civil servants.


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These applications present "risks in terms of cybersecurity and data protection of public officials and administration," said the entourage of Public Service Minister Stanislas Guerini, who follows in the footsteps of several Western institutions and governments that have already banned or limited the use of TikTok on professional devices.

Among the applications now banned is "the triptych applications of games like Candy Crush, streaming like Netflix and recreational like TikTok," says the entourage of the Minister of the Public Service, Stanislas Guerini, before adding that Twitter is also blacklisted.

The ban, notified to the various ministries through a "binding" instruction according to the government, comes into force immediately, and does not concern the personal phones of state officials. Public servants who wish to use one of the banned applications for institutional communication purposes will have to apply for a derogation from their ministry's digital directorate. In the event of a violation of the ban, no unified system of sanctions is foreseen at this stage. Any sanctions will have to be decided "at the managerial level" of each ministry, according to the services of Stanislas Guerini.

Bans in many Western institutions

The White House, the European Commission, the Canadian and British governments, among others, and other organizations have recently banned their officials from using TikTok on their work phones. At the center of the fears is a 2017 Chinese law that requires local companies to hand over personal data that would be a matter of national security at the request of the authorities.

The Chinese government "has never requested and will not ask any company or individual to collect or hand over data from abroad in a way that would violate local laws," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Friday.

Bernard Benhamou: "This is an issue of democracy and not simply espionage"

Dominique Desaunay


With AFP)

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