The French government on Friday banned the installation and use of “entertainment” apps, such as the social network TikTok or the US platform Netflix, on the professional phones of 2.5 million government civil servants.
Sources close to France’s Minister of Public Administration, Stanislas Guerini, said that these applications present “risks in terms of cybersecurity and data protection for agents and management”.
A source in the ministry said the ban would include “gaming apps like Candy Crush, streaming apps like Netflix, and entertainment apps like TikTok.”
TikTok is very popular for its short and viral videos and has more than 1 billion active users in the world.
The French authorities’ move followed in the footsteps of several Western governments and institutions that have banned or limited the use of TikTok on professional devices, fearing espionage issues.
Among them were the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, and the governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
The group insisted that the Chinese government had no control over or access to this data.
But in November, the company admitted that some employees in China had access to European users’ data. And in December, he claimed employees used the data to spy on journalists.
Chinese authorities said on Friday that they have “never asked” the companies to hand over data collected abroad.
Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, said at a news conference that the government “has not and will not require companies or individuals to collect or hand over data from foreign countries in a way that violates local law.”
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