Majority of Dutch MP's back ban on TikTok from government phones
The four parties of the current ruling coalition in the Netherlands want to forbid government officials from installing TikTok on their work phones. "We should not be naive, and should follow the path of the American government," said CDA MP Evert Jan Slootweg during the parliamentary debate on Wednesday about data ethics in the national government. For security reasons, the United States decided that TikTok may no longer be used on official devices.
The proposal is supported by the VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie. Together, they hold 77 out of the 150 seats in the Tweede Kamer. However, they hold a minority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, with 32 of the 75 seats.
Slootweg said he is very concerned about data protection among civil servants, and thinks that the Netherlands should take up a similar plan as the U.S. government restriction. D66 also wants a ban, Hind Dekker-Abdulaziz said during the debate.
"The motto is, 'When in doubt, do not cross,' so that is why we support this proposal from the CDA," said VVD MP Hawre Rahimi.
The ChristenUnie is "obviously in favor of a ban," said Nico Drost. "But let's get going right away. If it's not good enough for government officials, then why should it be [considered good enough] for our children." This means that a majority of the Tweede Kamer is in favor of a ban on civil servants.
The state secretary for digitization issues, Alexandra van Huffelen, said she understands and shares the concerns of the Tweede Kamer parliamentarians. She will investigate whether the Cabinet supports banbing TikTok for all government employees. Van Huffelen said she will inform the lower house as soon as possible whether or not the Cabinet will introduce the ban, she said in the debate.
The Tweede Kamer has long been concerned about TikTok, which is owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance. The Tweede Kamer fears that data from the social media platform can be viewed by the Chinese government.
Earlier, the ChristenUnie went a step further and called for the app to be completely banned frominthe Netherlands. At the request of the VVD, the Tweede Kamer will soon speak with experts about the dangers of the app.