France bans TikTok from government devices

24 Mar 2023

Image: © dmytro_khlystun /

France is the latest in a long list of countries to ban the video app from government devices due to security concerns.

The French Minister of Transformation and Public Service, Stanislas Guerini, has announced on his Twitter account that the French government have decided to ban TikTok and “recreational apps” like it from the work phones of state employees.

In his tweet, the minister said the measure was “to guarantee the cybersecurity of our administration and our public officials”.

In an attached statement, Guerini said that “recreational applications do not have sufficient levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be deployed on administrative equipment”.

He added that the ban comes into effect immediately and uniformly, with exceptions only for operational reasons.

Guerini did not name the other recreational apps that are included in the ban but Le Monde reports that gaming apps such as Candy Crush and streaming apps such as Netflix would be part of the ban.

TikTok is owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance.

Just yesterday (23 March), TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew sat before a US congressional committee to answer allegations of foreign access and improper use of US users’ data. Chew’s comments failed to convince US legislators of the company’s innocence.

At the hearing, Chew detailed the $1.5bn dollar Project Texas established by the company to bolster it’s data security by relocating US users’ data to the US and recruiting tech company Oracle to act as a third-party monitor.

In recent weeks, TikTok has been banned on government devices in several countries including the UK, the US and Canada, as well as by the European Commission.

In January, France’s data watchdog fined TikTok €5m for making it hard to refuse cookies. This was a result of several online investigations into the TikTok website between May and June 2022.

In February, TikTok announced plans to open a second data centre in Dublin and one in Norway to ensure that European users’ data was stored locally.

Just this month, the embattled app announced Project Clover, a new set of measures which it says will “set a new standard” in protecting European data.

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Rebecca Graham is production editor at Silicon Republic