TikTok Ban: Canada latest country to ban TikTok from govt managed devices, joins US and EU


Canada is banning the Chinese social media app TikTok from all government-issued devices as of early Tuesday, according to a story in the National Post on Monday, which cites an official correspondence to an internal agency.

According to the report, the decision was made to guarantee the security of government information after an internal study revealed that TikTok’s data-gathering techniques may leave users susceptible to cyber assaults.

Also read: Canada starts investigating TikTok over data collection from young users

Following an evaluation by Canada’s chief information officer, the app was found to “present an intolerable degree of danger to privacy and security,” said to a government spokeswoman.

The action, which comes just days after the European Commission implemented a similar ban, highlights the increasing global backlash against TikTok due to concerns about its ties to the Chinese government and control over user data.

Growing security concerns
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that there was enough to worry about the app’s security to warrant the adjustment.

“This may be the first and only move we need to take,” he said at a news conference near Toronto on Monday.

TikTok has been chastised for its use of confidential data and links to the Chinese government. ByteDance Ltd, a Chinese company with close connections to the CCP and the Chinese Government, owns the short-form video-sharing app.

In a statement, Mona Fortier, the head of Canada’s Treasury Board, said the government “is dedicated to keeping government material safe”.

The programme will be removed from government-issued phones and other devices this week, and future downloads will be stopped.

“On a mobile device, TikTok’s data gathering techniques provide significant access to the phone’s contents,” Ms Fortier explained. “While the dangers of using this programme are obvious, we have no proof that government information has been breached at this time.”

Banned across the board
TikTok was banned for US federal workers late last year, and the White House granted government organisations 30 days to remove the app from their systems on Monday.

A number of American colleges have prohibited the use of the programme on their networks. India and several other Asian nations have imposed broader public restrictions.

Also read: US universities continue to ban TikTok from campus networks and devices, University of Wisconsin latest

The firm maintains that Chinese government officials do not have access to user data and that a Chinese version of the app exists in addition to the one used elsewhere. However, the firm acknowledged last year that some employees in China have access to European users’ data.

The ban for European Commission workers is scheduled to take effect on March 15.

Also read: EU tightens the screw on TikTok, European commission bans staff from using TikTok on work devices

Canadian privacy authorities are also looking into TikTok’s user data issues, specifically whether the business gets “valid and relevant” permission from users when gathering personal information.

TikTok responds to Canada’s Ban
In a statement, a company representative said the prohibition on government-issued devices occurred “without mentioning any particular security worries about TikTok or approaching us to address any worry prior to making this decision”.

“We are always ready to meet with government officials to talk how we safeguard Canadians’ privacy and security, but singling out TikTok in this manner does nothing to accomplish that common objective,” the statement read. “All it does is prevent officials from communicating with the people on a forum that millions of Canadians enjoy,” the statement read

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TikTok Ban: Canada latest country to ban TikTok from govt managed devices, joins US and EU
TikTok Ban: Canada latest country to ban TikTok from govt managed devices, joins US and EU
ASE News
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