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TikTok Banned on All Government Devices in Canada Over Privacy, Security Risk

Treasury Board President Mona Fortier has announced that the use of TikTok on all government-issued mobile devices has been banned. The reason for the ban is that the app poses an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.” The Canadian Cyber Center has also stated that Canadians should make an informed choice about using the app.

In a statement, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier announced that effective Tuesday, the use of the Chinese app TikTok will be banned for all government-issued mobile devices. The app will be removed from said devices because it poses a security risk. “Following a review of TikTok, the Chief Information Officer of Canada determined that it presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” Fortier said.

The Treasury Board President added, “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.”

As of now, there is no evidence that government information has been compromised.

As for Canadians, Fortier says it is a personal choice but as per the Communications Security Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre), people should understand the possible risks and make an informed choice before using the app.

TikTok, whose parent company is China’s ByteDance, has been facing criticism for a while now regarding the data collection strategies of its short-form video application. The app is under investigation by Canada’s federal privacy watchdog and three provincial counterparts.

Canada’s announcement follows the European Commission’s decision to outright ban the use of the app on its work phones including personal devices that are part of the “mobile device service.” Furthermore, the United States is considering banning TikTok amid fears of it potentially being used to spy on Americans and censor content.

Vineet Washington
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