France Bans TikTok And Other ‘Fun Apps’ On Government Devices

By   Adeola Adegunwa
Writer , Informationsecuritybuzz | Mar 28, 2023 09:08 am PST

The next nation to take action to block TikTok and Other ‘Fun Apps’ on government-controlled devices is France. The announcement of the change and its justification was made in a statement by Stanislas Guerini, the Minister of Public Transformation and Service. But there’s a catch: the French government has announced that all recreational apps are now prohibited from being used on work computers, not just TikTok.

The French government stated in a statement that “over the past few weeks, various European and international partners have adopted steps to ban or prohibit the downloading and installation of block TikTok and Other ‘Fun Apps’ by their public authorities.”

For instance, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Canada have prohibited TikTok on government-issued mobile devices used by parliamentarians. TikTok was also asked to be removed from all employees’ work devices in a directive from the European Commission.

Governmental organizations claim they are worried about data privacy in each situation. Several governments worry that the Chinese government may retain and access user data on TikTok because it is controlled by the private Chinese company ByteDance.

TikTok has stated numerous times that the Chinese government does not receive user information from the company. The business has made an effort to reassure European governments by announcing that it will soon establish and manage a number of data centers in Europe to keep the data of local consumers.

In addition to pursuing this data sovereignty policy, TikTok is “minimizing data flows outside of Europe; decreasing employee access to European user data,” according to Rich Waterworth, general manager of operations for TikTok in Europe.

Naturally, this implies that governments must put their faith in TikTok, which doesn’t appear to be the case in France. After considering the risks, particularly security, the Ministry of Public Transformation and Service stated that the government has decided to restrict the future download and installation of entertainment software on business phones provided to public servants.

So what exactly is a recreational app? TikTok (clearly) is one of these apps, along with Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Candy Crush, and other games, as well as dating apps, according to Guerini’s office, which also informed the AFP and AP news agencies.

I hope we can obtain clarification on the precise boundaries of the recreational category because it seems like a vague and general idea. Guerini’s office has been contacted, and if we hear back, we’ll update this post.

“TikTok and Other ‘Fun Apps’ lack the cybersecurity and data protection standards required for deployment on government hardware. The French government noted that these programs could endanger the privacy of these administrations’ public officials and their data.

All ministries have received a message. Further detailed guidelines for enforcing the ban will be provided in the future by the cybersecurity agency (ANSSI) and the interministerial digital administration (DINUM).

There will be one major exception: You will be able to install an app if you need to do so in order to communicate about the job your administration is doing. If you manage social media, you will be able to install TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter.


The French government has revealed intentions to prohibit TikTok and Other ‘Fun Apps’ from being used on official devices, including TikTok, Netflix, Instagram, Candy Crush, and Twitter. The action, which is anticipated to have an impact on some 2.5 million government employees, will be watched over by The National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSII). According to Civil Service Minister Stanislas Guerini, “Recreational applications do not give acceptable levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be put on administration’s digital tools.” “These applications may thus pose a risk to the privacy of these governments’ public officials and their data.”

The minister also made it clear that there can be times when the norm is altered for “institutional communications” reasons. The French translation of Guerini’s message does not include a deadline for app removal from government-owned devices. The decision was made amid a string of bans on TikTok by governments across. Javvad Malik, lead security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, said: “Although most organizations have been focusing on TikTok, it’s good to see France taking a more risk-based approach to regulating applications on official phones and not just prohibiting TikTok, but a wide range of recreational apps.”

In agreement with Malik, Jake Moore, a global cybersecurity expert at ESET, noted that it is likely that businesses and government agencies will continue to restrict access to TikTok and other social media on devices. The security expert claims that numerous other entertainment apps similarly collect data from consumer devices. They can use storage space, consume bandwidth, or accidentally cross-post data even when they don’t. Malik continued, in light of the risks involved, ” it is necessary to have a comprehensive strategy and limit any non-work critical apps and services on official phones.”

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