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Canada follows the EU in banning TikTok on government devices

Canada follows the EU in banning TikTok on government devices

After a line of different reports banning the widely-known video platform TikTok in several countries, Canada joins them as they prohibit it from all government-issued devices starting on Tuesday.

Said decision followed a review by Canada’s chief information officer. Also, they have stated that the app “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security”, a government spokesperson said in a statement.

TikTok Canada

A TikTok spokesperson said the company was disappointed by the decision which came just days after the European Commission announced a similar ban.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was enough concern about security around the app to require the change. On Monday at a press conference near Toronto, he said, “This may be the first step, this may be the only step we need to take.”

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

For one, US federal employees were banned from using TikTok late last year. In addition, on Monday the White House gave government agencies 30 days to scrub the app from their systems.

Also, a number of American universities have banned the app from being used on their networks. Broader public bans have been implemented in India and several other Asian countries.

TikTok insists that Chinese government officials don’t have access to user data. It also claims that a Chinese version of the app is separate from the one used in the rest of the world. However, last year, the company admitted some staff in China can access the data of European users.

The ban for European Commission employees is set to come into force on 15 March.

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

In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson said the ban on government-issued devices happened “without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concern prior to 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 singling out TikTok in this way does nothing to achieve that shared goal,” the spokesperson continued

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

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