Saxion discourages use of TikTok on university devices

Saxion University of Applied Sciences does not want employees to use TikTok on University-issued devices. Last Tuesday, the Dutch government banned government officials from using the Chinese-owned social media app, citing espionage fears.

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“Saxion carries out sensitive research, which cannot be allowed to be exposed without safeguards in place”, says Henry Meutstege, chief information security officer, in an interview with news platform SaxNow.

He adds that the university has no plans to ban TikTok. Employees should be able to decide for themselves which apps they install. Nonetheless, he hopes to convince them that it would be better for them not to use the app.


The government went a step further on Tuesday and banned all government officials from using “espionage-sensitive apps” on their work phones. That decision follows a report from the intelligence service AIVD, which recently advised the government that all apps “managed by countries with an offensive cyber programme aimed at the Netherlands and Dutch interests have an increased espionage risk”. Besides China, this also includes Iran, Russia and North Korea.

Other higher education institutions have yet to ban or discourage the use of the app, say spokespersons for the umbrella associations the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and Universities of The Netherlands.

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