Canada bans TikTok, citing security risks on government-issued devices

Even as a ban announced by Ottawa on using the TikTok app on government-issued devices took effect on Tuesday, Canada’s parliament said it would impose a similar ban.

The federal government’s ban was announced on Monday. A day later, the House of Commons issued a statement saying that its administration “informs all users of home-managed devices that the mobile application TikTok can no longer be installed, effective March 3, 2023 at 9 p.m. effective from 00:00.

It asked parliamentary users to remove the application “as soon as possible” from their House of Commons-provided tools and said the decision “followed a series of consultations with national security partners and by other jurisdictions and institutions”. connected with similar action taken.” A similar ban is also being imposed by the upper chamber, the Senate.

Bank of Canada is also prohibiting the use of the short video sharing app on employees’ devices.

At the same time, two provincial governments, Quebec and British Columbia, have also taken such measures. Lisa Beare, BC’s Minister of Citizen Services and Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport in British Columbia, tweeted, “Effective immediately, the TikTok app will not be allowed from government-issued mobile devices. Security of Government data and networks is a top priority of this Ministry. BC has an expert team dedicated to protecting systems from intrusions and security risks.”

The Treasury Board Secretariat, the nodal agency, has already instructed all members of the ruling Liberal Party caucus to remove the app from their devices. The main opposition Conservative Party said they were taking such action, including suspending the TikTok account of its leader Pierre Poilievre. The Bloc Québécois has also said it will comply. New Democratic Party or NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also said that his TikTok account would be deactivated. However, Singh, who has around 880,000 followers on the social media platform, described the move as “stagnation”.

A release issued by the Treasury Board Secretariat on Monday said that “the decision to remove and block TikTok from government mobile devices is being taken as a precautionary measure, particularly in light of concerns about the legal regime that will govern mobile devices.” governs the information collected from devices, and is in line with the approach of our international partners. On mobile devices, TikTok’s data collection practices provide substantial access to the phone’s content.”

The concerns relate to ByteDance, the app’s owner, which is based in China and amid new security norms from Beijing that could compel companies to share information and data when sought.

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