Canada Bans TikTok From Government Devices

Canada government bans TikTok from all government devices, saying it presents ‘unacceptible risk to privacy and security’

The Canadian government is to ban TikTok from all government-issued devices starting on Tuesday.

The minister responsible for public service, Mona Fortier, said a review by the government’s chief information found the app presents an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security”.

The move follows a Canadian probe into TikTok announced at the end of last week, and follows a similar ban last week from the European Commission and the EU Council.

The US federal government has also banned the app from government-issue devices, as have a number of US states.

Canadian parliament. Image credit: Canadian government tiktok, social media, data security
Canadian parliament. Image credit: Canadian government

Government data

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said security concerns were sufficient to warrant the ban.

“This may be the first step, this may be the only step we need to take,” he told a press conference on Monday.

Some US and European lawmakers have raised fears the Chinese government could force TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, to hand over sensitive personal data.

Fortier, who is head of Canada’s Treasury Board, which oversees federal government operations and includes the chief information officer, said the government was “committed to keeping government information secure”.

“On a mobile device, TikTok’s data collection methods provide considerable access to the contents of the phone,” she added.

‘Risks are clear’

“While the risks of using this application are clear, we have no evidence at this point that government information has been compromised.”

TikTok said in a statement the ban had occurred “without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concern prior to making this decision”.

The firm added it is “always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we protect the privacy and security of Canadians” but criticised the government for “singling out TikTok in this way”.

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