The Canadian government is banning TikTok from official electronic devices, making it the latest to announce restrictions on the short-form video app in light of cybersecurity concerns.
The ban is set to take effect on Tuesday. Government-issued devices will be blocked from downloading TikTok, and existing installations of the app will be removed, according to a statement by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
“Following a review of TikTok, the Chief Information Officer of Canada determined that it presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” the statement said.
The statement by Treasury Board President Mona Fortier said the decision is consistent with those of “our international partners.” The US federal government, along with more than half of US states and the European Commission, have all announced similar TikTok restrictions on devices they manage or permit on official networks.
In a statement responding to the ban, TikTok said it was “curious” that Canada had announced the move “only after similar bans” in the EU and the United States, and without contacting TikTok about the concerns.
“We are always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we protect the privacy and security of Canadians, but singling out TikTok in this way does nothing to achieve that shared goal,” a TikTok spokesperson said. “All it does is prevent officials from reaching the public on a platform loved by millions of Canadians.”
US and allied officials have expressed concerns that TikTok or its Chinese parent, ByteDance, could be forced by the Chinese government to hand over the personal information of TikTok users.
Independent security experts have said that type of access is a possibility, though to date there has been no reported incident of such access — something the Canadian government emphasized on Monday.
“While the risks of using this application are clear, we have no evidence at this point that government information has been compromised,” the statement said.