Beginning on Tuesday, the video app TikTok will no longer be allowed on any devices that are provided by the Canadian government.
The decision was made after an investigation by the chief information officer of Canada found that the app “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.” This was said in a statement from a government spokesperson.
A representative for TikTok expressed the company’s displeasure with the decision in a statement.
It comes only a few days after the European Commission indicated that they would be taking the same action.
Concerns regarding safety
The modification was necessary, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, because there was sufficient cause for anxiety regarding the app’s level of security.
During a press conference held on Monday near Toronto, he made the following statement: “This may be the first move, this may be the only step we need to take.”
TikTok has come under fire for its alleged links to the Chinese government as well as its use of users’ confidential information.
ByteDance Ltd., a company based in China, is the owner of the short-form video program.
Late in 2018, TikTok was made unavailable to federal employees in the United States, and on Monday, the White House offered government agencies a period of thirty days to remove the app from their respective networks.
The use of the application on the networks of a number of educational institutions in the United States has been prohibited. Greater restrictions on public consumption have been imposed in India as well as in several other Asian nations.
The company maintains that Chinese government officials do not have access to user data and that the Chinese version of the application is distinct from the version that is used in the rest of the world. However, the business acknowledged the previous year that some employees in China have access to the data of European users.
The 15th of March is the day that the ban will become effective for personnel of the European Commission.
TikTok is also being investigated by privacy regulators in Canada because of concerns regarding user data. In particular, the regulators are looking into whether or not the business obtains “valid and meaningful” consent from users before collecting personal information.
According to the findings of a recent survey conducted by researchers at the Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University, approximately one-quarter of all adults in Canada make use of the program.
The President of Canada’s Treasury Board, Mona Fortier, issued a statement in which she said that the Canadian government “is dedicated to keeping government information secure.”
This week, the application will be deleted from all devices, including those provided by the government, and in the future, it will not be available for download.
According to Ms. Fortier, “TikTok’s data collection techniques on a mobile device provide considerable access to the contents of the phone.” Even though the dangers of using this application are obvious, there is currently no evidence to suggest that sensitive government data has been exposed as a result of its use.
A member of the country’s chief information officer serves on the Treasury Board, which is responsible for monitoring the activities of the federal government.
A representative for the company said in a statement that the ban on devices provided by the government was implemented “without citing any particular security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concern previous to making this decision.”
A spokesperson for the company stated, “We are always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we safeguard the privacy and security of Canadians; however, singling out TikTok in this manner does nothing to achieve that shared objective.”
“All that it does is prevent government officials from communicating with the people on a platform that is enjoyed by millions of Canadians,”