France has banned government employees from using all types of social media platforms, gaming, and video-streaming apps on their work phones, citing cybersecurity and privacy concerns, amid widespread protests across the country.
The ban, which comes into force immediately, includes Chinese-owned video-sharing TikTok application, Instagram, Candy Crush, and Netflix, the Ministry of Public Sector Transformation and the Civil Service Stanislas Guerini wrote on Twitter on Friday.
“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,” Stanislas Guerini said on Friday.
Digital Minister Jean-Noël Barrot also said, “these recreational applications are not designed to guarantee a sufficient level of cybersecurity to be deployed on the administration’s digital tools.”
Exceptions could be granted for “institutional communications” purposes, he added.
The French move comes after a string of governments and institutions banned TikTok, including the White House, the UK parliament, the Dutch and Belgian administrations, the New Zealand parliament, and the governments of Canada, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Jordan.
US lawmakers and national security officials alleged that user data gathered by the app could be accessed by the Chinese government.