As TikTok gains popularity, concerns over data privacy and security continue to grow, prompting many governments to take action. Canada recently banned TikTok on all government devices, citing concerns about the data collection methods used by the app’s owner, ByteDance, which is based in China. The ban is in line with the approach taken by other countries, including the United States and the European Union, and follows India’s ban of the app in 2020.
The ban will see TikTok removed from all government-issued devices, with users of these devices also being blocked from downloading the app in the future. While the app is not being banned for users in the country, the Canadian government has warned that the Communications Security Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security strongly recommends that Canadians understand the risks before deciding what tools to use.
The move by the Canadian government comes after privacy commissioners at the national and provincial levels launched an investigation into the platform, examining whether its practices are in compliance with Canadian privacy legislation and whether valid and meaningful consent is being obtained for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information.
TikTok has responded to the ban, stating that it is disappointed that the Chief Information Officer of Canada has moved to block TikTok on government-issued mobile devices without citing any specific security concerns or contacting the company to discuss any concerns prior to making this decision.
As the use of social media continues to grow, it is essential that governments and users remain vigilant about data privacy and security. While TikTok may provide a fun and entertaining platform, it is important to understand the risks associated with its use and to take appropriate precautions to protect personal information.