Brussels Government calls on municipalities to ban use of TikTok

Brussels Government calls on municipalities to ban use of TikTok
Credit: Belga / Hatim Kaghat

The Brussels-Capital Region Government has called on its municipalities to implement a ban on the use of TikTok on staff computers and phones, following all Belgian governments' ban on the use of the Chinese social media app.

The Region of Brussels-Capital's Local Authorities Minister Bernard Clerfayt sent a letter to all 19 municipalities to further "protect our institutions" by prohibiting the use of TikTok on staff devices, as well as calling on municipality staff to uninstall the app on their personal phones too.

The government's demands come after growing global concerns over fears that the social media app was leaking consumer data to the Chinese State, which TikTok's parent company had admitted to doing in December of last year as a way of tracking journalists' activities.

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This led the European Commission to order their staff to delete TikTok from their work phones, with all of Belgium's governments following suit a month later.

A warning from the army's cybersecurity chief General Michel Van Strythem also helped the urgent need to ban the app, after he had explained that Chinese law did allow for the country's authorities to access TikTok's database.

However, not all Belgian politicians have heeded the authorities' advice. Even Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has kept his account active to ensure no one else can use the handle (the name of the account), although he claims he does not use it.

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