Belgium bans TikTok on government phones
‘We can’t be naive,’ says Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
Belgium’s National Security Council Friday banned the use of TikTok on work phones of government officials, the latest in a series of European governments cracking down on the Chinese-owned social media app.
“We can’t be naive: TikTok is a Chinese company that currently is mandated to cooperate with Chinese intelligence services,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in a statement shared with POLITICO.
The Belgian ban is based on a risk analysis by the country’s intelligence services and recommendations by the national cybersecurity center. It was issued for a period of six months, after which Belgian authorities will re-evaluate its guidelines.
The popular Chinese video app was banned by EU institutions at the end of February in a series of decisions that prevent staff from using and installing the app on work-related phones.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, this week launched a European charm offensive and promised changes to its data protection policies to alleviate concerns around its use. The company has denied posing a security risk.
On Thursday, the IT agency of the government of Flanders, Belgium’s northern region, already decided to block access to TikTok for all government services that use the centralized IT services and government network.