The Belgian government has recently taken a major decision regarding the usage of the popular video-sharing app TikTok on government-owned smartphones. The government has announced that it will temporarily ban TikTok on all government-issued smartphones, citing concerns over cybersecurity, privacy, and misinformation.
The decision has been taken after a thorough review of the security implications of the app, especially considering its Chinese ownership. This move is in line with similar decisions made by Canada and the United States, both of which have already imposed similar bans on TikTok usage by government employees.
The Belgian government’s concerns stem from the fact that TikTok has been under scrutiny by various countries worldwide due to its data privacy policies and potential risks of cyber espionage by the Chinese government. The app’s popularity, especially among younger users, has raised concerns about the safety of user data and the potential for the dissemination of misinformation.
The Belgian government’s move is also reminiscent of India’s decision to ban the app in June 2020. India was the first to ban TikTok due to concerns over cybersecurity and the app’s Chinese ownership. India’s ban has since been to all users in the country, and not only to government officials.
TikTok has defended its practices and has assured users that their data is safe and that they do not share user information with the Chinese government.
However, the Belgian government’s decision to ban the app on government-owned smartphones is a strong signal that concerns about cybersecurity, privacy, and misinformation are growing worldwide, and governments are taking steps to address them. With all these bans taking place, it looks like the future is not good for the app across the world and it may see more such bans in the future by more countries.