France could ban TikTok from the personal smartphones of its ministers

Alexander Schmid

March 18, 2023 at 1:15 p.m.


© Shutterstock

© Shutterstock

Opening of a senatorial commission of inquiry: France is wary of TikTok. Indeed, the application will be banned from professional and personal smartphones of members of the government.

The noose is tightening around TikTok. Contested in many respects in Europe and the United States, the application would once again be in the sights of the French government.

After work phones, personal devices

According to information reported by Bloomberg, which cites two sources familiar with the matter, the executive plans to ask ministers to avoid using TikTok on their personal smartphones. Other applications of the same type may also be prohibited.

This will be an additional step to remove the Chinese platform from the devices of our decision-makers, while Olivier Véran, spokesperson for the government, recently declared that TikTok and other social media cannot already be installed on the professional telephones of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or members of the government.

According to one of Bloomberg’s sources, the main concern is security, as the United States claims that TikTok can be exploited by Chinese agencies for espionage purposes.

A senatorial investigation against TikTok

The US Congress restricted the app on government devices as early as 2022. The UK banned TikTok from the devices of members of its government this week, while members of the European Commission were asked to remove it before the date of March 15.

TikTok had already been put under pressure recently in France with the opening of a commission of inquiry by the Senate. In addition to the question of security, it must obtain answers on other topics such as the protection of personal data, compliance with the GDPR, or its addictive nature.

ByteDance, owner of TikTok, could be forced to separate from its flagship application if international pressure were to increase, but the Chinese group is also exploring (and favoring) other avenues. A divorce would be the most drastic choice, and we are not at that stage yet.

Source : Bloomberg

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