Canada will begin blocking the Chinese social media app, TikTok, from any smartphones it has issued to its employees as of Tuesday, Reuters reported.
This is according to the National Post, which cited a formal notice addressed to federal government employees.
Since an internal study revealed that TikTok’s data collection techniques may leave users vulnerable to cyber attacks, Canada’s top information officer decided to protect the security of government data, the newspaper reported.
The action, which comes days after the European Commission enforced a comparable ban, highlights the growing opposition to TikTok due to worries about its ties to the Chinese government and control over user data globally.
Due to concerns about the platform’s data gathering use and disclosure of personal information, the app, which is owned by the Chinese company, ByteDance Ltd., is also being investigated by Canada’s federal and provincial privacy regulators.
TikTok and Canada’s Treasury Board, which houses the nation’s chief information officer, both declined to comment right away.
The Canadian move is another potential irritant in Sino-Canadian relations, which have been heated recently for a number of reasons, most recently over Ottawa’s suspicions that China has been conducting air and marine surveillance operations and has attempted to influence its elections.
Beijing strongly refutes these accusations and has urged Ottawa to put an end to what it has called malicious slander and unnecessary speculation.