TikTok banned from official devices in Canada, joining US and Europe
TikTok has been banned on official Canadian devices, making it the latest country to take action against the app.
Similar bans are already in place in the federal US government, many states, and the European Commission. Like those bans, the new ruling in Canada will see the app removed from devices owned by government employees.
Canada followed other bans in indicating that the ban was the result of fears about privacy and security, though it did not specify exactly what concerns it had.
“A review of the mobile application’s behavior in relation to the Policy on Service and Digital found that TikTok’s data collection methods may leave users vulnerable to cyber attacks,” a note sent to staff read, according to Bloomberg and the National Post, which both reported the news.
As such, the app will be “automatically removed and blocked from use on all government-issued mobile devices”, the note reportedly warned.
Numerous politicians have suggested that the TikTok’s ownership by the China-based Bytedance has led to security worries. They have suggested that the Chinese government will be able to use the app to access the data of citizens – though Bytedance has claimed that the Chinese government cannot access that data and that it is stored in local markets.
The Canadian ban comes just days after the European Commission banned the app from official devices, also citing the increased risk of cyber attacks. That in turn had followed a range of similar rulings in the US, at both federal and state level, which tended to focus on the danger to citizens’ data.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent but told media that it was “disappointed” in the Canadian decision.
“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,” a spokesperson told Engadget.
“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.
“All it does is prevent officials from reaching the public on a platform loved by millions of Canadians.”