The French government on Friday banned the installation and use of "recreational" applications including the Chinese social network TikTok and the American streaming platform Netflix on the work phones of the country's 2.5 million state civil servants.
According to French Minister of Public Service Stanislas Guerini, these applications present "risks in terms of cybersecurity and protection of the personal data of public servants and the administration".
The ban, which was notified to the different ministries through a "binding" instruction, immediately took effect and does not apply to the personal phones of state employees.
The banned applications include "a triptych of gaming applications like Candy Crush, streaming applications like Netflix, and recreational applications like TikTok," explained the environment of the Minister of Public Service, Stanislas Guerini, on Twitter, adding that Twitter itself is also on the list.
Civil servants who wish to use one of the banned applications for institutional communication purposes must as special permission from the digital directorate of their ministry.
Possible sanctions for violations will have to be decided "at the managerial level" of each ministry, according to the services of Stanislas Guerini.
The White House, the European Commission, the Canadian and British governments have recently banned their officials from using TikTok on their work phones.
The concerns stem from the 2017 Chinese law on cybersecurity that requires local companies to provide personal data upon request to authorities for national security purposes.
The Chinese government "has never asked nor will it ask any company or individual to collect or hand over data in foreign countries in a way that would violate local laws," Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.