Civil servants are now prohibited from installing so-called “recreational” applications on their professional smartphones, according to a press release from the Minister of Transformation and the Civil Service, Stanislas Guerini.
On Twitter, Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate in charge of the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, has just announced a new measure which directly concerns 2.5 million state civil servants in France. Recreational applications are now prohibited on civil servants’ smartphones.
“Recreational” applications are, according to the government, software such as TikTok for social networks, Netflix for streaming services or games such as Candy Crush. The full list of affected applications has not yet been released, but should include all applications that officials do not use in the course of their work.
TikTok is a security risk
Stanislas Guerini, Minister of Transformation and the Public Service, specifies that recreational applications ” do not have sufficient levels of cybersecurity and data protection to be deployed on administrative equipment “. In other words, the government believes that apps like TikTok pose a security risk to public officials.
Obviously, this measure, which comes into effect immediately, only concerns the professional telephones of civil servants, and not their personal smartphones. To continue using a “recreational” application, agents will now have to a waiver request with the digital directorate of their ministry. In the event of a breach, no action is currently planned, but this could change once the list of affected applications is specified.
This is not the first time that the application has been debated within European administrations, since already last month, the European Commission had banned the application from its members. In France, the Senate had also opened an investigation to assess the dangers of its algorithm.
This new measure comes the day after TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before the US Congress. The problem is that Shou Zi Chew finally confessed to lawmakers that personal data was still accessed by some employees in China, which obviously poses security concerns. TikTok could therefore have signed its death warrant in the United States, and if so, other countries could well follow suit.