After the US federal authorities and some European ones, the Canadian government prohibits the Chinese application on the mobile devices assigned to its officials. The measure goes into effect on Tuesday, February 28. Canada is concerned about the lack of protection of personal data contained in the phones where the Chinese application is located.
With our correspondent in Quebec, Pascale Guéricolas
No more cooking recipes, extracts of the best goals from your favorite hockey team or make-up tips for Canadian officials whose phones are provided by the Government.
The authorities fear that their personal data will end up in the hands of the Chinese company ByteDance, owner of TikTok, which is closely linked to Beijing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a warning to his fellow citizens.
“I imagine that many Canadians, both companies and individuals, will wonder about the security of their own data, and perhaps take action accordingly,” the prime minister said.
“On a mobile device, TikTok’s data collection methods provide considerable access to phone content,” said Treasury Minister Mona Fortier, adding in a statement that this decision was made “as a measure of caution”.
“We have no reason to believe at this time that any government information has been compromised,” he added.
Canada has just launched an investigation to determine if TikTok users here have sufficient data protection, especially young people. According to some surveys, more than three-quarters of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 use the app.
For its part, the Chinese company regrets that the Canadian government has not notified it of its decision on the officials. His spokespersons say they are willing to come to discuss privacy issues.
A spokeswoman for the company said the Canadian decision to block the app was “curious” as it was taken “without citing any specific security concerns” and regretted that the government had not contacted them before the official announcement. .
This ban in Canada comes days after a similar decision by the European Commission, which banned its staff from using TikTok to “protect” the institution.
For its part, the White House gave federal agencies 30 days on Monday to remove the Chinese application TikTok from all government electronic devices in compliance with the veto ordered by the United States Congress.