Dutch companies not concerned about TikTok on employees' phones
Very few Dutch employers have banned TikTok from their employees’ phones, NOS found after asking dozens of employers about the matter. Concerns about how the social media platform handles privacy and whether the Chinese government has access to its data largely seem limited to politicians in the Netherlands. The Dutch government is considering banning officials from using the app.
NOS approached dozens of employers, including various companies, three technical universities, supervisors in the field of technology, the police, and the five largest Dutch municipalities. Over 30 responded, with two-thirds explicitly stating that they don’t ban TikTok. Only one employer said it had restrictions. Several others would not comment.
Philips, Gasunie, KPN, T-Mobile, and facility service provider Vebego would not tell NOS whether they took any security measures around TikTok. Gasunie did say it would likely go along with a ban if the government implements one.
The police and the Dutch Data Protection Authority said they have many restrictions on what can and cannot be on company phones. That includes, but is not limited to, TikTok.
ING, Eneco, Essent, and the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) have not banned TikTok but generally place their own apps on phones in a protected area for security reasons.
Chip machine company ASML, which reported data theft by a former employee in China last month, did not respond. Chip manufacturer NXP said it has restrictions on laptops but not on phones.
Vattenfall does not allow employees to use TikTok. The municipality of Eindhoven wouldn’t call it a ban, but it has made installing the app technically impossible. According to the municipality, Tikok “has been unable to provide sufficient certainty about privacy and security rules.” It does allow other social media.
Concerns about TikTok center around the fact that a Chinese company owns the app. Many Western countries worry that the Chinese government can monitor what users do on the app.
TikTok has always insisted that those concerns are unfounded and that it would never provide data to the government in China.