City of Hamilton Bans TikTok on Government, Police Devices

The City of Hamilton, Ontario, last week became the latest jurisdiction to ban TikTok on all government-issued devices, including those used by police, amidst a rise in privacy concerns against the Chinese social media app — reports Global News.

Hamilton’s Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Matthew Grant, said in a notice issued on Friday that the move comes “out of an abundance of caution” after consultation with the city’s IT division, senior leadership, and social media team.

As part of the ban, the city will also suspend activity on its own TikTok account, which was created earlier this year as another medium to communicate with residents.

“In addition, the city’s Communications TikTok account will be paused and made dormant while staff await result of the Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner probe alongside privacy regulators from provinces of Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta,” Matthew Grant said in an update.

Last month, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada launched a joint privacy probe into TikTok along with its provincial counterparts from Québec, British Columbia, and Alberta.

Since then, the federal government has removed TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices and blocked its use, with several provincial governments — including those of Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia — following suit with similar directives of their own.

While federal and provincial privacy regulators are yet to share their ruling on TikTok, Hamilton’s IT division said that the city has, to date, not identified any security risks associated with the app.

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