TikTok Banned on Government Devices by Four More Provinces

Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia have joined the federal government and House of Commons in banning TikTok from government devices — reports The Canadian Press.

Earlier this week, Ottawa removed TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices and blocked its use over privacy concerns against the Chinese social media app. The move came after the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada last week launched a joint privacy probe into TikTok along with its provincial counterparts from Québec, British Columbia, and Alberta.

In Saskatchewan, the TikTok ban applies to all government ministries, Crown corporations, and agencies. It will also be instituted by the Saskatchewan Party government caucus.

The Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island followed suit, enforcing their own ban on Wednesday. Per the government of Nova Scotia, TikTok’s data collection policies make users “vulnerable to surveillance.”

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is partly owned by the Chinese government. Furthermore, Chinese laws allow the government to demand access to any user data collected by the company.

Service Nova Scotia Minister Colton LeBlanc said there is no need for TikTok to be on government devices.

“There are also concerns about the legal regime that governs the information collected,” the minister added. “There is no evidence at this time that foreign actors have compromised government information.”

The Prince Edward Island government, meanwhile, said the decision is a precaution to protect the privacy and security of government information.

“The changes are being made as TikTok’s mobile data collection methods include the ability to access more information than is necessary for the application to function,” the Government of P.E.I. said in a release. P.E.I also echoed Nova Scotia in noting that there is currently no evidence of any government information being compromised.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, TikTok has been banned on government devices starting today. “The security of our networks and data is top priority, and we will take all necessary measures to ensure its integrity,” said Sarah Stoodley, Newfoundland and Labrador’s minister of digital government and service. “This is a proactive step to safeguard the people and data we protect.”

The Alberta and Quebec governments, along with the City of Calgary, have already banned TikTok on government devices, while B.C. has said it is temporarily prohibiting the application “out of an abundance of caution.”

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site: become a Patreon subscriber. Or shop with our Amazon link, or buy us a coffee! We use affiliate links when possible--thanks for supporting independent media.