Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced a six-month ban on the use of the TikTok application on government-provided function phones, due to the risk of misappropriation of sensitive data for the benefit of China. .
“We must not be naive: TikTok is a Chinese company that today is forced to cooperate with Chinese intelligence services. It is reality “justified the Flemish liberal leader in a statement. The ban concerns browsing the social network with a professional smartphone, but not use on a personal device by civil servants, cabinet members or ministers of the federal state. Flanders, the largest region of the country (the Dutch-speaking north), had already taken a similar decision yesterday.
If the personal devices are used for professional purposes, it is nevertheless “recommended (…) not to install the application”the statement said.
Last week, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder, who uses TikTok for her political communication, assured that the application was installed on a phone dedicated solely to this use.
The ban decided today will last six months and will then be reassessed. It was decided on the basis of an analysis produced jointly by the National Center for Cybersecurity (CCB) and State Security (civilian intelligence) which assesses the risks of espionage.
In recent weeks, the European Commission and Parliament have already banned TikTok from their employees’ devices, as has the Danish parliament. In the United States, where a law has decided to ban TikTok from the devices of public officials, a bill supported by the White House could lead to a total ban on the application.