No more cute pet videos and viral face filters during lunch breaks in The Hague. The Dutch government has asked all civil servants to immediately stop using certain apps, including TikTok, on their work phones.
This move comes as part of the Dutch Cabinet’s decision to strongly advise against certain potentially high-risk apps on government officials’ mobile work devices.
Why? According to RTL Nieuws, there are concerns that some apps could lead to government data leaks via the apps on phones. 😮
The government is now working on a plan to ensure that only approved apps can be installed on government work mobile devices — meaning yep, no more scrolling TikTok while civil servants take their breaks.
TikTok isn’t the only victim?
The ban is not purely focused on TikTok — though this is probably the app we’re most bummed about (we’ll miss the VVD TikTok account 🥲).
The Dutch State Secretary for Digitization, Alexandra Van Huffelen, explains that “recent parliamentary questions and international developments have led us to a careful consideration that goes further than advising against one application.”
All apps from countries with an offensive cyber program against the Netherlands are on the list. Meaning that the Chinese-owned app, TikTok, is among them.
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What’s the concern?
The AIVD (Dutch intelligence and security agency) concluded that these apps pose an increased risk of espionage from potential data leaks of sensitive government data.
Even on TikTok — the app where everyone’s dancing, complaining about the Dutch weather or showing off their cats.
While there is little evidence at the moment, there are concerns that the Chinese-owned app could come under pressure from their government and sensitive Dutch government information could be leaked.
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Van Huffelegen writes in a letter to the lower house of the Dutch parliament that “the national government must be able to do its work safely, also via its mobile devices.”
How was this decided?
The Dutch government advised the halt on these apps on government phones after the AIVD flagged the risk and a parliamentary majority called for the restriction to be brought in.
Many in the House of Representatives, such as from the VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie, evaluated the risk as too high.
And the Dutch are not alone in this fear. The United States government already agreed at the end of last year to ban TikTok on work phones of government officials for similar concerns over the risk of espionage.
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So to everyone working for the Dutch government, we wish you the best of luck without TikTok on your breaks or commutes home, which sometimes, let’s be honest, does help us get through the long work week.
What do you think about this move by the Dutch government? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Let’s all just follow American like sheep. Bahhhhh bahhhhhh