PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) – France will ban the use of Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok on the work phones of civil servants, Civil Service Minister Stanislas Guerini said on his Twitter account.
“In order to guaratne 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 said in a statement.
Britain’s parliament will block TikTok on all devices on its network following a similar ban on government devices, becoming the latest Western institution to bar the Chinese-owned video app over security concerns.
A TikTok spokesperson called the action “misguided”, saying it was based on fundamental misconceptions about the company.
“Following the government’s decision to ban TikTok from government devices, the commissions of both the House of Commons and Lords have decided that TikTok will be blocked from all parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network,” a parliament spokesperson said.
Britain last week banned the Chinese-owned video app on government phones.
“Cyber security is a top priority for parliament,” the spokesperson added.
The United States, Canada, Belgium and the European Commission have already banned the app from official devices.
“We are disappointed that, despite our requests, we have not been offered any opportunity to address concerns and only ask to be judged on facts and treated equally to our competitors,” the TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson added that the company had begun implementing a plan to further protect its European user data, which includes storing UK user data in its European data centres and tightening data access controls.
TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny due to fears that user data from the app owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, undermining Western security interests.
The British parliament’s ban was announced as TikTok’s chief executive faced questions from U.S. lawmakers who are convinced the app should be barred for being a potential national security threat to the United States.