Belgian government officials will not be able to use TikTok due to security concerns. While Prime Minister De Croo said that the application cannot be used only on official devices, a TikTok spokesperson argued that the government does not access company data in China.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that the video-sharing application TikTok will be banned from use by government officials, citing security concerns.
Following the USA, European Union (EU) and Canada, Belgium also announced that it will ban government officials from using the video sharing platform TikTok on their phones.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in a statement that the ban will come into effect next week and will be reconsidered in 6 months.
De Croo noted that civil servants will be allowed to use the app on their personal devices, but not on devices that are embezzled by the state.
Citing reports from the Belgian State Security Agency and the Cyber Security Center, De Croo claimed that TikTok was collecting large amounts of user data, manipulating the information that users were exposed to, and collaborating with Chinese intelligence.
De Croo said, "We must not be naive. TikTok is a Chinese company today compelled to cooperate with Chinese intelligence agencies."
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, headquartered in Beijing.
Recently, a TikTok spokesperson said that it is kept on servers outside the country, where the Chinese government does not have access to user data. The platform has hubs in the USA, Ireland, Singapore and the UK.