Canada has banned the use of TikTok in government-issued mobile devices amid rising concerns over security and privacy.
Last week, Canada’s federal privacy watchdogs launched an investigation delving into TikTok’s compliance with Canadian privacy legislation.
The ban was made official after Canada’s Chief Information Officer reviewed the situation, with a Canadian spokesperson claiming that the app poses an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security."
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press conference said that the TikTok ban might be the first step, or the only step the country might need to take.
“I suspect that as government takes the significant step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones many Canadians from business to private individuals will reflect on the security of their own data and perhaps make choices,” he explained.
“I’m always a fan of giving Canadians the information for them to make the right decisions for them,” the Prime Minister added.
Mona Fortier, Canadian Treasury Board President, said the federal government also plans to block TikTok on official devices in the future.
Canada is the latest among Western authorities to restrict the use of the social media app in government devices. Just last week, the European Commission has banned its staff from using TikTok in an effort to protect data and improve cybersecurity, requiring them to uninstall the app before March 15.
“This measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the Commission," the Commission said in a statement.
Last January, North Carolina and Wisconsin and more US states have banned the use of TikTok among government officials. “It’s important for us to protect state information technology from foreign countries that have actively participated in cyberattacks against the United States,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper explained.
Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s CEO, will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this March.