TikTok Banned in Canada From All Government Mobile Devices

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suspects private citizens and businesses will make their own choices about the safety of data on the app

Justin Trudeau
Chris Jackson-WPA Pool / Getty Images

TikTok has been banned in Canada from all government-issued mobile devices due to growing data security concern, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

“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,” Trudeau said.

He added, “I’m always a fan of giving Canadians the information for them to make the right decisions for them.”

Trudeau had not yet determined if this will be his only action against the Chinese-owned video sharing app or the first of many.

Thursday, the European Union’s executive branch temporarily banned TikTok from phones used by employees as a cybersecurity measure, as scrutiny intensifies in Europe and the U.S. over security and privacy issues and tension grows between the U.S. and China over spy balloons. More than half the states and Congress have already banned TikTok from government devices.

Canada’s federal privacy watchdog and several provincial counterparts throughout the country announced it was digging into whether or not the app obeys with Canadian privacy legislation.

Last month, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew agreed to appear and testify before a House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23, to consider “TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices, the platforms’ impact on kids, and their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.”

“Big Tech has increasingly become a destructive force in American society,” the Energy and Commerce Committee’s statement reads, adding TikTok isn’t being singled out, as it’s been at the forefront of asking Big Tech CEOs – from Facebook to Twitter to Google – to answer for their companies’ actions.