Canada banning TikTok on government issued mobile devices

By The Canadian Press and Alejandro Melgar

The Canadian government is banning TikTok from its mobile devices days after federal and provincial privacy commissioners launched an investigation into the social media platform.

A statement from Canada’s Treasury Board President Mona Fortier says the application will be removed from government-issued mobile devices on Tuesday.

“Effective Feb. 28, 2023, the TikTok application will be removed from government-issued mobile devices. Users of these devices will also be blocked from downloading the application in the future,” her statement reads.

The statement says the decision follows a review by the chief information officer of Canada, who determined that TikTok “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”

“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,” Fortier’s statement reads.

Last week, the federal privacy watchdog and its counterparts in B.C., Alberta and Quebec announced an investigation to delve into whether the video platform complies with Canadian privacy legislation.

The investigation was initiated amid numerous media reports on TikTok’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

TikTok has long been involved in privacy concerns because the Chinese government has a stake in its owner, ByteDance, and laws allowing the country to access user data.

The U.S. and the EU have recently banned government staff from using TikTok on work-issued devices.

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