CANADA: Starting on Tuesday, all government-owned devices in Canada will not be able to use the video app TikTok. This decision comes after Canada’s chief information officer’s review because the app “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” as stated by a government spokesperson in a statement.
The company was upset with this decision, which came just days after the European Commission announced a similar ban starting on March 15.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance Ltd., and its ties with the Chinese government, as well as its use of personal information, have made the app vulnerable.
This Chinese app is a separate one from the one used in the rest of the world, but last year the app’s company hired a few staff in China who can access the user data of European TikTokers.
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, stated that concerns were brewing about the security of the app that drove the change. At a press conference near Toronto, the prime minister said, “This may be the first step, this may be the only step we need to take.”
At the end of 2022, US federal employees were banned from using the app, and on Monday, the government agencies were given 30 days by the White House to remove the app from their systems. A lot of American universities have also banned the app.
In a statement, Canada’s President of the Treasury Board, Mona Fortier, said that the government “is committed to keeping government information safe.”
She also said, “TikTok’s ways of collecting data on mobile devices give it a lot of access to the phone’s contents.”
“While the risks of using this application are clear, we have no evidence at this point that government information has been compromised,” she added.
The company’s spokesperson said in a statement that the ban took place “without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concern before making this decision.”
The spokesperson added, “We are always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we protect the privacy and security of Canadians, but singling out TikTok in this way does nothing to achieve that shared goal.”
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