Belgium Bans TikTok On Official Phones
The Belgian government has banned federal officials from using TikTok on their work phones, making it the latest country to take steps against the Chinese app.
In recent times, several countries across the globe have expressed concerns about the data security risks associated with the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced the ban on Friday, citing warnings from the national security council about the risks of using the app.
TikTok is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance and is required to cooperate with Chinese intelligence services, leading to fears that user data could be accessed by authorities in Beijing.
“That is the reality,” the prime minister said in a statement.
“That’s why it is logical to forbid the use of TikTok on phones provided by the federal government. The safety of our information must prevail.”
The Belgian ban follows similar moves by the European Commission and European Parliament, who banned TikTok from staff phones last month over concerns about data security and China’s potential to harvest user data.
Several other European countries have also restricted the app’s use for government employees.
The growing concerns about TikTok have been fueled by the increasingly tough approach taken by Western powers, including the European Union and the United States, towards the app.
TikTok has responded to these concerns by launching a new push to reassure European users about security, stating that it is working with a third-party European security company to oversee and check how it handles data.
The company has also announced that from 2023 onwards, European user data will be stored at two centers in Dublin and one in Norway, a move aimed at further allaying concerns about data security.
However, the ban in Belgium highlights the continued concern about the risks associated with TikTok, and it remains to be seen whether other countries will follow suit in taking steps against the app.
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