TikTok is banned on all mobile devices by the Canadian government
TORONTO — Canada announced Monday that it will ban TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices, reflecting Western officials’ growing concern over the Chinese-owned video-sharing app. own.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this could be the first step towards further action, or it could be.
“I suspect that when the government takes the important step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones, many Canadians from businesses to individuals will think about it. security of their own data and being able to make choices,” Trudeau said.
“I have always enjoyed providing information to Canadians so they can make the right decisions for them,” he added.
The European Union’s law enforcement agency said last week it had temporarily banned TikTok on phones used by employees as a cybersecurity measure.
The EU action follows similar moves in the US, where more than half of states and Congress have banned TikTok from official government devices.
Last week, Canada’s federal privacy watchdog and its provincial counterparts in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec announced an investigation to look into whether the app was in compliance with privacy laws. of Canada or not.
TikTok is hugely popular with young people, but its ownership in China has raised concerns that Beijing could use it to collect data on Western users or promote stories and information. pro-Chinese misinformation. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020
TikTok faces close scrutiny from Europe and the Americas over data security and privacy amid concerns that the app could be used to promote pro-Beijing views or collect user information. It comes as China and the West are embroiled in a broader war over technology, from spy balloons to computer chips.
Canadian Finance Commission Chairwoman Mona Fortier said the federal government will also block downloads of the app on official devices in the future.
Fortier said in a statement that Canada’s Chief Information Officer had determined it “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”
The app will be removed from phones issued by the Canadian government on Tuesday.
“On mobile devices, TikTok’s data collection methods provide substantial access to the phone’s content,” Fortier said.
“While the risks of using this app are clear, at this time we have no evidence that government information has been compromised.”
Recent media reports have also raised concerns about possible Chinese interference in recent Canadian elections, prompting opposition parties to call for a public investigation into alleged election interference. send abroad.
A TikTok spokesperson said: “It is curious that the Government of Canada has moved to block TikTok on government-issued devices — without raising any specific security concerns or contacting them. I have questions — only after similar bans have been introduced in the EU and US,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. an email.
The statement said the company is always open to discussing Canadians’ privacy and security. “Removing TikTok in this way does not help achieve that common goal,” the email said. “All it does is prevent officials from reaching the public on a platform enjoyed by millions of Canadians.”