BC Announces TikTok Temporary Ban on Government-Issued Mobile Devices

The government of British Columbia has announced a temporary ban on TikTok on state-issued mobile devices, just hours after the federal government announced similar measures.

TikTok, a popular video-sharing app by Chinese company ByteDance, has come under increased scrutiny by various governments due to security concerns.

“Due to the concerns that have surfaced recently regarding this particular platform, we believe it prudent to exercise due diligence and temporarily ban the use of the TikTok app on government-issued mobile devices. Lisa Beare wrote on twitter February 27th.

Beare said the temporary ban will take effect immediately and is done as a step to protect government data.

“BC has a team of experts dedicated to protecting systems from intrusions and security risks,” she wrote. “This team of experts monitors the security of government networks on her 24/7 basis, which includes monitoring computer systems for various security risks and cybersecurity threats.”

Beare added that the BC government will continue to work with federal and state governments to investigate security risks associated with TikTok.

British Columbia’s temporary ban on the application on government mobile devices comes amid a joint investigation into TikTok by Federal Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne and the respective privacy watchdogs of BC, Alberta and Quebec.

Federal Finance Commission President Mona Fortier also announced on February 27 that Ottawa will ban TikTok on all federally issued devices starting February 28.

“Users of these devices will also be blocked from downloading applications in the future,” said Fortier.

security concerns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to the federal government’s ban on TikTok when he spoke to reporters in Mississauga, Ontario, on February 27. He said he decided it was better not to.

“This may be the first step. , added, “We hope that you will think about the security of your data and make choices as a result.” “

Fortier said its decision to ban TikTok on federal devices came after Chief Information Officer Catherine Luelo determined that a review of the application presented an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.” I was.

A TikTok spokesperson told the Epoch Times that the company had not been contacted by the federal government prior to the ban being announced, saying that TikTok “has been contacted to discuss how to protect the privacy and security of Canadians. and can meet with government officials at any time.”

“Singling out TikTok in this way does nothing to help us achieve that shared goal,” the spokesperson said.

The U.S. government and over 28 U.S. states have already banned the app from being downloaded on state-owned devices, and TikTok has also been banned by the U.S. military from downloading on military devices.

Both the European Commission and the European Union Council have also banned employees from using TikTok on company devices and phones due to cybersecurity concerns.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee last year that TikTok’s risks to national security include “because the Chinese government controls millions of users’ data collection and recommendation algorithms. The possibility of using TikTok” is included.

Andrew Thornebrooke contributed to this report.