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Canada bans TikTok from federal government equipment citing safety pitfalls

OTTAWA, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Canada on Monday introduced a ban on Chinese-owned social media application TikTok from federal government-issued equipment, expressing it presents an “unacceptable” amount of danger to privateness and stability, incorporating to the growing rift between the two countries.

The shift underscores the escalating foyer in opposition to TikTok, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance Ltd, over problems of its proximity to Beijing and keep above consumer data across the world.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that his governing administration was hunting thoroughly at how to assure Canadians’ on the web protection.

“This may well be a very first move, it may possibly be the only stage we have to have to get,” he said referring to the motion versus TikTok.

As government bans TikTok on function phones, “numerous Canadians, enterprises and personal individuals will replicate on the safety of their own information and probably make alternatives in consequence,” he explained.

The ban would go into influence from Tuesday and federal workforce would also be blocked from downloading the software in the long term, according to a statement from Canada’s Treasury Board, which oversees the public administration.

TikTok’s details selection solutions offer substantial entry to the contents of the mobile phone, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier claimed in the statement.

“Though the dangers of working with this application are crystal clear, we have no evidence at this issue that federal government data has been compromised,” she reported.

TikTok initially claimed it was dissatisfied by the final decision, but later issued one more assertion to take note that it was “curious” that Canada moved to block the app only just after equivalent bans in the European Union and the United States.

The ban was issued “devoid of citing any precise protection problem or getting in contact with us with issues,” a TikTok spokesperson claimed in an emailed statement.

The European Fee imposed a comparable ban final week, whilst the U.S. Senate in December handed a invoice to bar federal employees from making use of the application on federal government-owned products. India banned TikTok in 2020.


Canada’s action offers another possible thorn in Sino-Canadian relations which have been tense in the latest decades for different motives, most not long ago above accusations by Ottawa that China has tried using to affect its elections and that it has been running air and maritime surveillance things to do.

Beijing denies individuals allegations and has urged Ottawa to prevent what it has described as unwarranted speculation and smearing.

Ottawa has also previously excluded Chinese firms from Canada’s important minerals and telecommunication sectors, citing hazards to its national stability.

In November, it purchased three Chinese businesses divest their investments in Canadian vital minerals and prior to that it banned the use of 5G gear manufactured by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s [RIC:RIC:HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp (000063.SZ).

Past 7 days, Canada’s federal and 3 provincial privateness regulators said they had been jointly investigating TikTok in excess of problems about the platform’s selection, use and disclosure of individual information.

The Treasury Board said in its assertion that the decision to use a social media application or platform is a particular decision.

“The Communications Stability Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) guidance strongly endorses that Canadians recognize the pitfalls and make an educated decision on their very own right before determining what equipment to use.”

Reporting Ismail Shakil in Ottawa supplemental reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru Modifying by Maju Samuel, Deepa Babington and Marguerita Choy

Our Benchmarks: The Thomson Reuters Trust Concepts.