OTTAWA: Canada has banned on Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from government-issued devices, reports said.
The country announced the ban on Monday saying the app presents an “unacceptable” level of risk to privacy and security, adding to the growing rift between the two countries.
The move underscores the growing lobby against TikTok, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance Ltd, over concerns about its proximity to Beijing and holds over user data across the world, a news agency reported.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that his government was looking carefully at how to ensure Canadians’ online safety.
“This may be a first step, it may be the only step we need to take,” he said referring to the action against TikTok.
A TikTok spokesperson said the company was disappointed by the decision.
It comes just days after the European Commission announced a similar ban, according to BBC.
TikTok has been criticized for its use of personal information and ties to the Chinese government.
The short-form video app is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance Ltd.
US federal employees were banned from using TikTok late last year, and on Monday the White House gave government agencies 30 days to scrub the app from their systems.
A number of American universities have banned the app from being used on their networks. Broader public bans have been implemented in India and several other Asian countries.
The company insists that Chinese government officials don’t have access to user data and that a Chinese version of the app is separate from the one used in the rest of the world. But last year, the company admitted some staff in China can access the data of European users.