France bans TikTok on Government devices, despite President Macron having a TikTok account with 28M views

    TikTok is under threat from Governments around the world, looking to ban the platform. The French Minister of Public Transformation and Service, Stanislas Guerini has instructed ministers and secretaries that TikTok is now banned on Government equipment.

    The press release around the announcement highlights that ‘recreational applications’ do not have sufficient levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be deployed on government equipment.

    It goes on to say that these applications, therefore, constitute a risk to the protection of the data of these administrations and their public officials.

    French is not alone, with the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, recently questioned at the US Congress’s House Committee on Energy and Commerce. During this session, he faced many questions relating to how the company interacts with its Chinese parent company ByteDance.

    Chew was clear that the two are structurally separated and followed up with his own summary video, committing to all the US data being stored in US data centers.

    TikTok recently revealed it has more than 150 Million users in the US alone and anyone who has used the platform understands how addictive it can be. This raises the question, are there genuinely security concerns here, or is this move to ban TikTok, really an anti-competitive move?

    What’s maybe even more ironic about the ban, is the fact that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, actually has a TikTok account, with more than 3.9 Million followers and 28 Million Likes.

    The full statement from the French Minister is translated below:

    For several weeks now, several of our European and international partners have adopted measures to restrict or prohibit the downloading and installation of the TikTok application by their administrations.

    After an analysis of the issues, including security, the government has decided to prohibit the downloading and installation of recreational applications on professional phones provided to public officials. The Minister of Transformation and Public Service, Stanislas GUERINI, is sending the corresponding instruction to the ministers and secretaries general of the ministries.

    Indeed, recreational applications do not have sufficient levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be deployed on administrative equipment. These applications can therefore constitute a risk to the data protection of these administrations and their public officials. This prohibition applies without delay and uniformly. Exceptions may be granted on an exceptional basis for professional needs such as institutional communication of an administration.

    The Interministerial Directorate of Digital Affairs (DINUM) will ensure the implementation of this instruction, in close collaboration with the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI).

    Beyond this instruction, the cybersecurity of our administrations and public services is a crucial issue for which the Minister of Transformation and Public Service, Stanislas GUERINI, and the Minister Delegate for Digital Transition and Telecommunications, Jean-Noël BARROT, are fully committed.

    Guerini also tweeted about the announcement.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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