Government officials should no longer be allowed to have the TikTok app on their work phones. That is the opinion of a majority of the House of Representatives.
The social media app has a Chinese parent company and the coalition parties in the Chamber are concerned about the extent to which data protection is sufficient. The fear is that user data could be viewed by the Chinese government.
‘Don’t be naive’
D66 MP Hind Dekker-Abdulaziz speaks of “a potentially high security risk”. “Let’s err on the side of caution and ban TikTok on civil servants’ work devices.” This concerns about 140,000 civil servants who work for the government.
The CDA argues that the Netherlands should follow the example of the US. “We should not be naive and follow the path of the American government,” says MP Evert Jan Slootweg.
In the US, for security reasons, it has been decided that TikTok may no longer be used by civil servants on their work phones. And there is also talk in Washington of making the use of the app completely impossible.
The VVD is also concerned about the security risks of TikTok, says MP Hawre Rahimi. He points out that studies are still ongoing into the dangers of the app. “But when in doubt, don’t cross, is the motto.” The party therefore supports the proposal for a ban on civil servants.
This also applies to the ChristenUnie, which has already called for the app to be completely banned from the Netherlands. “Let’s get going right away,” argues Member of Parliament Nico Drost. “If it’s not good enough for civil servants, why should it be good enough for our children?”
State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of Digitization says she understands the concerns of the Chamber, but does not want to follow the American TikTok ban for civil servants “just like that”. Van Huffelen is going to study it and hopes to make a decision within a few weeks.
At the end of last year, tech entrepreneur Alexander Klöpping also argued for a general ban on Tiktok, which has more than 3.5 million users in the Netherlands and is especially popular among children. He called the video app dangerous because of the company’s handling of data, but also because of the influence the social medium has on young people.
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