On Monday, the Canadian government banned the TikTok app from all its phones and devices, citing data security concerns.
The TikTok app, owned by Chinese company Byte Dance, has been under the West’s microscope for months due to concerns about the extent of Beijing’s access to user data.
Starting Tuesday, “the TikTok app will be removed from government-issued mobile devices. Users of these devices will also be barred from downloading the application in the future,” a government statement said.
Canada’s chief communications officer “has determined that (the use) presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” the government added.
While there is no evidence of government data breaches linked to the app, the Canadian government has warned that “TikTok’s data collection methods allow widespread access to phone content.”
Last week, the European Commission banned the use of its devices after similar measures in the US.
A TikTok spokesperson expressed surprise at the Canadian decision to ban the app, saying it was made “without citing any specific security concerns” or consulting with the company.
Relations between China and Canada have deteriorated sharply in recent years, particularly after Ottawa responded to China’s move by arresting, at the request of the US Department of Justice, a senior Huawei official in 2018, and arresting two Canadian citizens.
Last week, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner launched an investigation targeting TikTok over its collection and use of users’ personal information.
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