Canada bans TikTok on all government devices

February 28, 2023, 3:17 pm

TRENTON, Ontario – Canada banned TikTok from all government devices Monday for security reasons and it could be the start of a further crackdown, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

"This may be a first step, it may be the only step we need to take, but every step of the way we’re going to be making sure that we’re keeping Canadians safe," Trudeau told reporters on Monday shortly after the ban was announced.

"Obviously we take very seriously the freedom of expression, the freedom of Canadians to engage how they want online," he said. "But we also have very important principles around protection of data, protection of Canadians’ safety and security that we will always step up for."

Global Affairs Canada sent an email advising employees that the video-sharing platform app is now banned following a review by the country's chief information officer.

The ban takes effect Tuesday.

TikTok is owned by Beijing's ByteDance technology company and concerns arose over the parent firm allowing the Chinese government to access TikTok's personal user information.

The move follows a probe of TikTok announced by the government last week.

The findings of the probe were that the app "presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security," Mona Fortier, president of the treasury board, said in a statement.

But she added to date there is no evidence government information has been compromised.

Canada's ban is following in the footsteps of other governments. The European Commission and European Council banned the app, and the majority of American federal workers are also banned from having the device on their government phones.

The US Congress is studying legislation that would ban TikTok country-wide. (Anadolu)