The Canadian government announced on Monday that it will ban the TikTok app from the mobile devices it provides to its staff as of Tuesday, citing “an unacceptable level of risk” to privacy and security.
“On a mobile device, TikTok’s data collection methods provide considerable access to phone content,” said Treasury Department President Mona Fortier, adding in a statement that it was taken “as a preventive measure. “.
“We have no reason to believe at this time that any government information has been compromised,” she added.
A spokesperson for TikTok reacted by deploring, in an email to AFP, a “curious” decision, taken “without citing any specific security problem”, and by regretting that the platform was not contacted by the government.
The ultra-popular short and viral video platform, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, is increasingly scrutinized by Westerners who fear that Beijing could thus access the data of users around the world.
This ban in Canada comes days after a similar decision by the European Commission, which banned TikTok from its staff to “protect” the institution.
TikTok is also in the crosshairs of the American authorities: a law ratified a few weeks ago by President Joe Biden prohibits the use of this application in the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as on the devices of civil servants.
Relations between China and Canada have deteriorated sharply in recent years, particularly after the arrest by Canada at the request of the United States of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in 2018.
The Canadian Privacy Commissioner announced last week that it has launched an investigation into TikTok aimed at establishing its compliance with Canadian laws.
It aims in particular to verify that “TikTok has obtained valid consent for the collection, use and communication of personal information”.