NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 15:53
The Belgian federal government bans TikTok for civil servants. This has been announced by Prime Minister De Croo to the Belgian news channel VRT. Access to the Chinese app will be blocked on all devices that are partially or fully paid for by the federal government. The ban is for six months and will be reviewed after that.
Belgian intelligence services have been warning against the use of the app on professional devices for some time, but last Wednesday they advised that the app was best removed. That advice has now been turned into a federal ban on TikTok.
The popular social media platform is under fire worldwide. Intelligence services of various Western countries fear that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is passing on user data to the Chinese government. Last December, for example, it emerged that ByteDance had improperly accessed TikTok data from American journalists. China denies all allegations.
As a precaution, Canada and the US, among others, decided to ban the app for government employees. Employees of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council are also no longer allowed to use TikTok.
In the Netherlands, there are also voices for a TikTok ban. A majority of the House of Representatives is in favor of banning the app on the work phones of Dutch civil servants.
De Croo calls on all five regional governments of Belgium to follow the example of the federal government. Yesterday, the Flemish government already announced that it would ban the app for its employees.
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