Canada bans TikTok on all government devices

Users of these devices will also be blocked from downloading the application in future.
Canada bans TikTok on all government devices

The Canadian government has banned the social media app TikTok from all its devices as of Tuesday.

A release issued by the nodal agency, the Treasury Board Secretariat said the decision to “remove and block TikTok from government mobile devices is being taken as a precaution, particularly given concerns about the legal regime that governs the information collected from mobile devices, and is in line with the approach of our international partners. On a mobile device, TikTok’s data collection methods provide considerable access to the contents of the phone”.

The concerns are related to the short-form video-sharing platform’s owner ByteDance, which is based in China and amid new security norms from Beijing which can compel companies to share information and data when demanded.

The application will be removed from all government-issued devices on Tuesday. “Users of these devices will also be blocked from downloading the application in the future. Following a review of TikTok, the Chief Information Officer of Canada determined that it presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” Treasury Board president Mona Fortier said.

She added there was “no evidence at this point that government information has been compromised”.

The Canadian government’s action follows those taken by the United States and the European Union. India banned TikTok in 2020.

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Canada bans TikTok on all government devices

The app is not being banned in the country for users. But Fortier warned that the Communications Security Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security or Cyber Centre has issued guidelines strongly recommending that “Canadians understand the risks and make an informed choice on their own before deciding what tools to use”.

“We’re disappointed that the Chief Information Officer of Canada has moved to block TikTok on government-issued mobile devices without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concern prior to making this decision,” the company said in a response to the move, as per the outlet CBC News.

This action comes after Canadian privacy commissioners at the national and provincial levels joined together to launch an investigation into the platform on Thursday.

A release from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada had noted the joint investigation of the short-form video streaming application will also involve privacy commissioners of the provinces of Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

The regulators will “examine whether the organisation’s practices are in compliance with Canadian privacy legislation and in particular, whether valid and meaningful consent is being obtained for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information”.

Source: HT

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