The Dutch government on Tuesday advised its officials against using TikTok or other apps run by countries with “offensive cyberware” on their work devices.
According to a service advisory Dutch Intelligence (AIVD), there is “an increased risk of espionage” through the use of TikTok or other apps run by countries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
The Dutch government therefore “immediately” advised its civil servants not to use such applications, and specified that it aims to arrive at a “structural solution”, according to which it will be impossible for them to use these applications on their professional devices.
“The central government must be able to do its work securely, also via its mobile devices,” said Alexandra van Huffelen, Dutch State Secretary for Digitization.
“Recent parliamentary questions and international developments have led us to make a careful assessment that goes beyond advising against an application,” she added, quoted in a statement.
Ultimately, the government wants all civil servants' work phones to be configured so that only previously authorized apps, software or features can be installed and used.
The Netherlands will therefore follow suit. Canada, the UK and US federal agencies, which have already banned TikTok from government devices due to data security concerns.
The European Commission has also ordered to ban the app for sharing videos from its employees' devices.
TikTok admitted in November that employees of its parent company ByteDance in China had accessed the account information of Americans, but has always denied transmit this s given to the authorities.
Current President of the United States Joe Biden has threatened to ban the application completely from the territory, if it does not separate from ByteDance.