In the US and Canada, government workers are being forced to delete the Chinese social media app Tiktok from their work devices over security concerns. In the United States, government agencies have 30 days to ensure that the video app is no longer used on company cell phones and other devices, according to a requirement from the government of US President Joe Biden on Monday (local time). In Canada, the ban has been in effect since Tuesday. Tiktok should also no longer be allowed to be used on official cell phones by employees of the EU Commission.
Tiktok belongs to the Chinese Bytedance group and is mainly used by young people. The app is also very popular in western countries. At the same time, there has long been criticism that the data is not secure. It is also feared that the Chinese state could have access to it. Tiktok denies that.
The responsible Canadian Minister Mona Fortier justified the ban in Ottawa with an "unacceptable risk to privacy and security". It was said that it was a precautionary measure. There is currently no evidence that government information is affected. However, Tiktok's collection methods allowed significant access to mobile device content. Therefore, the download of the app on government devices will be blocked. Already downloaded apps must be removed.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to a question about whether the government was also considering a complete nationwide ban on Tiktok: "This may be a first step. It may be the only step we have to take. But we will make sure at every step that we are protecting the safety of Canadians." The EU Commission had already announced on Thursday that it would ban Tiktok on company cell phones. In addition, the app must be removed from private devices on which apps from the EU Commission are used by March 15.