France banned all recreational apps, including TikTok and Instagram, from the work phones of the nation’s 2.5 million civil servants.
“Among the recreational apps, we find game apps like Candy Crush, streaming apps like Netflix, but obviously content apps like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. Dating apps are also affected,” France’s Civil Service Ministry clarified in response to a Deadline query on the extent of the ban.
Meanwhile, the ministry highlight that the list of banned apps would be updated in step with the evolving offering of apps on the market.
The decision was sparked by recent concerns over TikTok after CEO Shou Zi Chew was grilled in a U.S. congressional hearing due to rising momentum for the platform to be banned in the country.
“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,” the French minister said in a statement.
“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.”
Furthermore, the government body indicated that recreational apps do not offer high enough levels of cyber-security and protection to be used on devices linked to official state activities.
“Derogations may be allowed in exceptional cases for professional needs such as that of institutional communication by an administration,” read the press statement.