Canada Bans Tik Tok on Government Phones and Devices

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On Monday, the Canadian government banned the TikTok app from all its phones and devices, citing data protection concerns.

A government statement said that as of Tuesday “the TikTok application will be removed from government-licensed mobile devices. Users of these devices will also be prevented from downloading the application in the future.”

The government also added that Canada’s communications manager “has determined that (the app) presents an unacceptable level of privacy and security risk.”

While there is no evidence of government data breaches associated with the app, the Canadian government has warned that “TikTok’s data collection methods allow for widespread access to phone content.”

Last week, the European Commission banned the app on its devices, following similar steps in the US.

Data loss fears

A TikTok spokesperson was surprised by Canada’s decision to ban the app, saying it was made “without mentioning specific safety issues” or consulting with the company.

And the TikTok application, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has been under the microscope of the West for months due to concerns about the extent of Beijing’s access to user data.

Relations between China and Canada have deteriorated sharply in recent years, especially after Ottawa’s arrest, at the request of the US judiciary, of a senior Huawei official in 2018, and China’s response to the move by arresting two Canadian nationals.

Last week, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner opened an investigation into TikTok’s collection and use of users’ personal information.

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