Canada bans TikTok from all government-issued devices
According to reports, Canada is the latest nation to prohibit TikTok from being used on government-issued devices. The federal government of the United States, some states, and the European Union have already restricted its employees from using the software on official devices.
TikTok “shall be immediately withdrawn and restricted from usage on all government-issued mobile devices,” according to a message written to Global Affairs Canada staff acquired by the National Post. According to the article, the administration will announce the policy, which is set to go into force on March 1st, on Tuesday.
“An examination of the mobile application’s behaviour in regard to the Service and Digital Policy discovered that TikTok’s data collecting practises may leave users exposed to cyber assaults,” the memo ostensibly states. It is possible that authorities in Canada, like their colleagues in the United States and the European Union, are worried about the Chinese government having access to the data TikTok maintains on Canadian citizens and residents. TikTok’s main company, ByteDance, is based in China, where rules require corporations to divulge data with authorities when asked.
ByteDance has denied that the Chinese government has access to such information. It claims that Canadian user data is held in the United States and Singapore. Yet, it said that former workers in China and the United States downloaded data on American journalists, ostensibly to identify the origins of the company’s leaks.
The Communications Security Establishment of Canada issued a warning earlier this month that “adversary states can influence their domestic vendors to compromise products to advance their national interests, which are counter to Canadian clients’ interests and the interests of Canada,” but the report did not specifically mention TikTok or China. Furthermore, the Canadian government is under review for probable Chinese meddling in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, according to the National Post.
“We’re upset that the Chief Information Officer of Canada has decided to prohibit TikTok on government-issued mobile devices without identifying any particular security concerns regarding TikTok or contacting us to address any concern,” a TikTok spokeswoman told Engadget. “We are always willing to meet with government authorities to discuss how we can safeguard Canadians’ privacy and security, but singling out TikTok in this manner serves no purpose. What it does is block authorities from communicating with the public on a platform that millions of Canadians enjoy.”