Canada bans TikTok on government devices

February 28: The decision follows a review by Canada’s chief information officer, with the app “presenting an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.

A TikTok spokesperson said the company was disappointed by the decision.

It comes just days after the European Commission announced a similar ban.

security concerns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were enough security concerns surrounding the app to demand the change.

“This may be the first step, this may be the only step we have to take,” he told a news conference near Toronto on Monday.

TikTok has been criticized for its use of personal information and its ties to the Chinese government.

The short-form video app is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance Ltd.

Late last year, US federal employees were banned from using TikTok and on Monday the White House gave government agencies 30 days to remove the app from their systems.

Several American universities have banned the use of the application on their networks. Wider public bans have been implemented in India and several other Asian countries.

The company insists that Chinese government officials do not have access to user data and that the Chinese version of the app is separate from the one used in the rest of the world. But last year, the company admitted that some staff in China can access the data of European users.

The ban for European Commission employees will take effect on March 15.

Canadian privacy regulators are also investigating TikTok over concerns about user data, particularly whether the company obtains “valid and meaningful” consent from users when collecting personal information.

About a quarter of Canadian adults use the app, according to a recent survey by researchers at the Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University.

In a statement, Mona Fortier, chairwoman of Canada’s Treasury Board, said the government “is committed to keeping government information secure.”

The app will be removed from government-provided phones this week and from other devices, and will be blocked from downloading in the future.

“On a mobile device, TikTok’s data collection methods provide considerable access to content on the phone,” Ms. Fortier said. “While the risks of using this app are clear, at this time we have no evidence that government information was compromised.”

The Treasury Board, which oversees the operations of the federal government, includes the country’s chief information officer.

TikTok Responds

In a statement, a company spokesperson said the ban on government-issued devices occurred “without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concerns before making this decision.”

“We are always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we protect the privacy and security of Canadians, but highlighting TikTok in this way does not help achieve that shared goal,” the spokesperson said.

“All it does is prevent officials from reaching the public on a platform loved by millions of Canadians.”

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