France is the most recent country that has taken steps to block TikTok from devices managed by the government. Stanislas Guerini, minister for Public Transformation and Service, and his department issued a statement to announce this move as well as the rationale behind the decision.
However, there’s an alternative: Instead of bans on TikTon the French government has declared that all games for recreational use are now prohibited from workplace devices.
“For the past few weeks, several European and international partners have adopted measures to limit or prohibit downloading and installing the TikTok application by their public administrations,” the French government said in its statement.
For instance, for instance, the U.S. House of Representatives prohibited TikTok for lawmakers’ official mobile phones, just as it has done in Canada. It was also reported that the European Commission issued a directive that requires all employees to delete TikTok from their devices at work and also.
In all of those cases, the government agencies state they’re worried about the privacy of data. TikTok operates under the control of ByteDance which is an unincorporated Chinese company. Both authorities believe that the user’s data could be stored, and even accessed by The Chinese government.
TikTok has stated numerous times that it does not give user data to government officials, including the Chinese government. The company has attempted to ensure European governments by stating that it plans to set up and operate several data centers that will store the data of local users within Europe within the next few years.
Alongside this data sovereignty plan, TikTok is “reducing employee access to European user data; minimizing data flows outside of Europe,” wrote Rich Waterworth, TikTok’s general director of operations for Europe.
Of course, this means that governments must believe in the reliability of TikTok, which isn’t the situation in France. “After an analysis of the stakes, notably security, the government has decided to prohibit from now on the downloading and installation of recreational applications on professional phones provided to public agents,” the Ministry of Public Transformation and Service stated.
What exactly is a recreational application exactly? Guerini’s office has told AFP along with the AP media outlets that certain apps are TikTok (obviously) and in addition to Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Candy Crush, and other games, in addition to dating apps.
It’s an interesting idea that isn’t clear enough. I’m hoping we’ll get clarity on the precise scope that the category recreational falls within. We’ve contacted Guerini’s office and will update this post if we receive additional information.
“Recreational applications are not equipped with the required level of security and data security to be used on equipment used by government agencies. They could therefore be a risk to the security of data for these administrations as well as their officials in the public sector,” government officials from the French government stated in its report.
A message has been sent out to all ministers. Inter-ministerial Digital Administration (DINUM) as well as The cybersecurity organization (ANSSI) will follow up with more specific guidelines on the application of the ban.
There’s a notable exception: If you require to install an application to share information about your work then you’ll be able to do this. Also, if you’re a social media manager you’ll be able to download Twitter, Facebook, and, indeed, TikTok.