TORONTO — Canada introduced Monday it’s banning TikTok from all government-issued cell gadgets, reflecting widening worries from Western officers over the Chinese language-owned video sharing app.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned it may be a primary step to additional motion.
“I believe that as authorities takes the numerous step of telling all federal workers that they will now not use TikTok on their work telephones many Canadians from enterprise to personal people will mirror on the safety of their very own information and maybe make selections,” Trudeau mentioned.
The European Union’s govt department mentioned final week it has briefly banned TikTok from telephones utilized by workers as a cybersecurity measure.
The EU’s motion follows related strikes within the U.S., the place greater than half of the states and Congress have banned TikTok from official authorities gadgets.
Final week, Canada’s federal privateness watchdog and its provincial counterparts in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec introduced an investigation to delve into whether or not the app complies with Canadian privateness laws.
TikTok is wildly standard with younger folks, however its Chinese language possession has raised fears that Beijing might use it to gather information on Western customers or push pro-China narratives and misinformation. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese language firm that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020
TikTok faces intensifying scrutiny from Europe and America over safety and information privateness amid worries that the app may very well be used to advertise pro-Beijing views or sweep up customers’ data. It comes as China and the West are locked in a wider tug of battle over know-how starting from spy balloons to pc chips.
Canadian Treasury Board President Mona Fortier mentioned the federal authorities may also block the app from being downloaded on official gadgets sooner or later.
Fortier mentioned in assertion the Chief Info Officer of Canada decided that it “presents an unacceptable stage of danger to privateness and safety.”
The app can be faraway from Canadian authorities issued telephones on Tuesday.
“On a cell system, TikTok’s information assortment strategies present appreciable entry to the contents of the cellphone,” Fortier mentioned.
“Whereas the dangers of utilizing this software are clear, we have now no proof at this level that authorities data has been compromised.”
Latest media reviews have additionally raised considerations about potential Chinese language interference in latest Canadian elections, prompting opposition events to name for a public inquiry into alleged international election interference.
“It’s curious that the Authorities of Canada has moved to dam TikTok on government-issued gadgets—with out citing any particular safety concern or contacting us with questions—solely after related bans have been launched within the EU and the US,” a TikTok spokesperson mentioned in a e-mail.
The corporate is at all times obtainable to debate the privateness and safety of Canadians, the assertion mentioned. “Singling out TikTok on this manner does nothing to realize that shared aim,” the e-mail mentioned. “All it does is forestall officers from reaching the general public on a platform cherished by hundreds of thousands of Canadians.”