France has announced a measure banning all recreational apps from the work phones of the country’s 2.5 million civil servants. The move, seemingly sparked by recent concerns over TikTok, also impacts a raft of other social media and content platforms.
State broadcaster Radio France is reporting that the ban includes TikTok, Twitter, content platforms such as Netflix, messaging service WhatsApp, and game apps such as Candy Crush. Deadline has contacted France’s Civil Service Ministry for clarification on the extent of the ban.
The move comes a day after TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was grilled in a US congressional hearing, amid growing momentum for the platform to be banned in the country.
France’s Ministry for Civil Service put out a press release announcing its banning measure on Friday morning.
“In recent weeks, a number of our European and international partners have adopted measures restricting or banning the downloading and installation of the TikTok App by their administrations,” it read.
“After an analysis of the challenges, notably for security, the government has decided to forbid the downloading and installation of recreational apps on the work phones provided to state employees with immediate effect.”
The statement said that the government had concluded that recreational apps do not offer high enough levels of cyber-security and protection to be used on devices linked to official state activities.
The government added that the measure would be applied immediately and in a uniform manner but added there could be some exceptions.
“Derogations may be allowed in exceptional cases for professional needs such as that of institutional communication by an administration,” read the press statement.
The French ban follows in the wake of a number of Western countries forbidding the use of TikTok on government electronic devices but is the first measure extended to all recreational apps. The personal devices of civil servants are not included in the ban.