X

Canada Bans TikTok From Government Devices

The decision comes after the app was determined to have an "unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security."

oscargonzalez-1
oscargonzalez-1
Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
Expertise Video Games, Misinformation, Conspiracy Theories, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Movies, TV, Economy, Stocks
Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read
Tik Tok logo on a phone
James Martin/CNET

TikTok is already banned from employee devices for some branches of the US government as well as several states due to privacy concerns. The social video app now finds itself on Canada's ban list. 

The Canadian government will ban the use of TikTok on government-issued mobile devices starting Tuesday, according to a statement from Mona Fortier, the president of Canada's Treasury Board. The move came after the chief information officer of Canada determined the app presents an "unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security." 

"The decision to remove and block TikTok from government mobile devices is being taken as a precaution, particularly given concerns about the legal regime that governs the information collected from mobile devices and is in line with the approach of our international partners," Fortier said in the statement, which was shared on Twitter.

Fortier said there's no evidence that Canadian government information has been compromised. 

Following the announcement, TikTok said it's willing to talk with government officials about privacy concerns over the app. 

"It's curious that the government of Canada has moved to block TikTok on government-issued devices — without citing any specific security concern or contacting us with questions — only after similar bans were introduced in the EU and the US," a TikTok spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We are always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we protect the privacy and security of Canadians, but singling out TikTok in this way does nothing to achieve that shared goal. All it does is prevent officials from reaching the public on a platform loved by millions of Canadians."

Some officials in the US have expressed concern that TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, poses a national security threat because the app collects large amounts of data that could be shared with the Chinese government. In December, the Senate passed a bill that seeks to ban the social video app from all government devices. 

The European Parliament also decided to ban TikTok from staff phones, citing security reasons, according to a Tuesday report by Reuters. This move came a week after the European Commission and European Council also prohibited TikTok use on staffers' devices.