Canada bans TikTok on government devices

TikTok's logo

Beginning on Tuesday, TikTok will no longer be accessible on any devices provided by the Canadian government.

The app "presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security," a government spokesperson declared in a statement following a review by Canada's chief information officer.

A representative for TikTok expressed the company's disappointment with the choice.

It was announced just a few days after the European Commission did.

The change was necessary, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, because of the level of security concerns surrounding the app.

At a press conference on Monday near Toronto, he said, "This may be the first step, this may be the only step we need to take.".

TikTok has drawn flak for its use of user data and connections to the Chinese government.

ByteDance Ltd., a Chinese company, is the owner of the short-form video app.

Late last year, US federal employees were prohibited from using TikTok, and several American universities also forbade the app's use on their networks. In several other Asian nations, including India, more extensive public bans have been put into place.

The company maintains that a Chinese version of the app is distinct from the one used in the rest of the world and that Chinese government officials do not have access to user data. However, the business acknowledged in the past year that some employees in China have access to European users' data.

On March 15, the ban will go into effect for personnel working for the European Commission.

Concerned about user data, particularly whether TikTok obtains "valid and meaningful" consent from users when collecting personal information, Canadian privacy regulators are also looking into the app.

The Canadian Treasury Board's president, Mona Fortier, stated in a statement that the government "is committed to keeping government information secure.".

This week, the app will be taken off of other devices, including those provided by the government, and future downloads will be prohibited.

According to Ms. Fortier, "TikTok's data collection methods on a mobile device provide significant access to the contents of the phone.". "Although there are risks associated with using this application, there is currently no proof that sensitive government data has been compromised. ".

The chief information officer of the nation sits on the Treasury Board, which manages federal operations.

A company representative said in a statement that the decision to prohibit use of devices that are issued by the government was made "without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concern prior to making this decision.".

Singling out TikTok in this manner does nothing to advance that shared objective, the spokesperson said. "We are always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we protect the privacy and security of Canadians," the spokesperson said.

"All it does is keep government representatives from speaking to the public on a platform that millions of Canadians adore.

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