Increasing concerns over the security and privacy of user data have continued to plague TikTok. The Canadian government is just the latest in a string of official authorities that has banned the application.
In a statement issued last week
, the Canadian government announced that TikTok would no longer be permitted on government-issued mobile devices effective February 28. The ban follows a review carried out by the Chief Information Officer of Canada where it was deemed that TikTok represents an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”
Although no data breach has been identified, the block was put in place as a precaution due to TikTok’s considerable access to data on devices. Although the ban does not specifically apply to Crown corporations, many have followed the recommendation, including the Bank of Canada, Trans Mountain Corporation, the National Capital Commission, and the Standards Council of Canada.
The ban in Canada comes only days after the European Commission banned TikTok from its devices
to protect itself against cyber security attacks. All corporate-issued devices, as well as personal devices enrolled in its mobile device service, are included in the suspension. The European Commission states that it will continue to review other social media platforms to ensure they continue to adhere to security policies.
The United States House of Representatives instructed its staff and lawmakers to remove TikTok from government-issued devices in December.
The US is primed to push the ban even further. New legislation was put forward last week that could allow the Biden administration to ban TikTok completely. The concerns stem from the risk of sensitive personal data being shared with foreign persons, as well as TikTok algorithms controlling and censoring content for users.
Those who object to the bill are concerned that the language is too broad and could lead to risks for online speech.
TikTok released a statement
on February 22 stating that it works to regularly strengthen the security of its platform to stay ahead of emerging cyber threats, adding that “the privacy and security of the people who use our platform are among our highest priorities.”