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France bans TikTok from govt devices amid cybersecurity risks
Paris: In the latest move to tackle the surge in privacy and cybersecurity-related risks, the government of France has banned the Chinese video-sharing application TikTok on government devices, NHK World reported.
The French government has reportedly debarred TikTok on the work phones of public-sector employees. On Friday, French Public Service Minister Stanislas Guerini declared that TikTok, a Chinese-owned video-sharing software, would no longer be allowed on the work phones of civil servants.
"In order to guarantee the cybersecurity of our administrations and civil servants, the government has decided to ban recreational applications such as TikTok on the professional phones of civil servants," he tweeted.
Transformation and Public Administration Minister Stanislas Guerini made the announcement on Friday.
Amid security concerns, the video-sharing social networking service, Tik Tok earlier on March 17 was banned on the phones of New Zealand MPs, Auckland-based daily newspaper, New Zealand Herald reported.
As per the New Zealand Herald, the chief executive of the Parliamentary Service, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero stated that the "risks are not acceptable" given that strict actions are being taken all over the world, concerning social media service.
There is widespread concern that TikTok data could be compromised and sent to China.
It comes after comparable actions in the US, UK, and Europe.
India too imposed a nationwide ban on TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps, including the messaging app WeChat, in 2020 over privacy and security concerns.
Concerns have mounted globally about the potential for the Chinese government to access users' location and contact data through ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent company, reported France24.
The company's CEO Shou Zi Chew faced a grilling by US lawmakers on Thursday, in a rare bipartisan rebuke that reflected a growing penchant to ban the app from the US over its ties to China and handling of user data.
TikTok's chief executive said user data can be accessed by its Chinese parent company and said that the staff in China currently have the ability to see user information.
Moreover, TikTok is bound by China's National Intelligence Law, which compels every Chinese citizen and company to surrender all data to the Chinese Communist Party on request and perform surveillance activities on behalf of the CCP.
TikTok, like many other social media companies, collects users' personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses, contacts and Wi-Fi networks.
ByteDance has said the company does not share information with the Chinese government, but US officials counter that Chinese law requires the company based in Beijing to make the app's data available to the CCP.
The China-based app, which counts more than 150 million US users each month, has faced growing scrutiny from government officials over fears that user data could fall into the possession of the Chinese government and that the app could be weaponised by China to spread misinformation. (ANI)