France Bans TikTok, Other 'Fun' Apps From Government Devices

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The French government has announced plans to ban “recreational” apps, including TikTok, Netflix, Instagram, Candy Crush and Twitter, from officials’ devices.

The move will be monitored by The National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSII) and is expected to affect roughly 2.5 million government officials.

“Recreational applications do not deliver sufficient levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be deployed on administration’s digital tools,” said Civil Service Minister, Stanislas Guerini. “These applications may therefore constitute a risk to the data protection of these administrations and their public officials.”

At the same time, the minister clarified that exceptions to the rule might be put in place for “institutional communications” purposes.

The decision comes amid a streak of governments worldwide banning TikTok from government devices. Guerini’s statement (in French) does not specify a date for removing apps from government devices.

Read more on TikTok here: Unpacking Recent Government TikTok Bans

“While most organizations have been focusing on TikTok, it’s refreshing to see France taking a more risk-based approach to restricting apps on official phones and not just banning TikTok, but a whole number of recreational apps,” said Javvad Malik, lead security awareness advocate at KnowBe4.

According to the security expert, several other recreational apps also gather information from user devices. Even when they don’t, they can use bandwidth, take up storage space or inadvertently cross-post information. 

“Therefore, from a risk perspective, it makes sense to take a holistic approach and restrict any non-work essential apps and services on official phones,” Malik added.

Jake Moore, a global cybersecurity advisor at ESET, echoed Malik’s point, adding that it is likely that organizations and government departments will continue to limit TikTok and other social media use on devices.

“Data privacy has always remained a sensitive issue, but now more people are starting to become aware of the intrusive nature of these apps,” Moore explained.

The French government’s decision to ban TikTok from government devices comes two months after France fined the social media company €5m ($5.4m) for failing to provide users with enough information on the purpose of cookies on its site.

Editorial image credit: Antlii /

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