The European Commission banned TikTok on work phones. Could Canada be next? – National

The European Commission has banned the use of TikTok on corporate devices, the governing body announced Thursday.

The decision is part of a push from the commission to “strengthen cybersecurity.” A statement on the commission’s website explainedThe suspension of the controversial application applies to all of the Commission’s corporate devices and personal devices “enrolled in the Commission’s Mobile Device Service.”

The move comes as Canadian parliamentarians are set to investigate security concerns about popular social media applications in a parliamentary committee.

Earlier this month, the House Ethics Committee voted to launch an investigation into TikTok and other social media platforms’ use of “personal information of Canadians for data collection purposes.”

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It’s unclear when the study will begin, and whether the findings could influence whether Canadian agencies crack down on official device applications, as the European Commission just decided Thursday. is.

Among the reasons for the decision, the European Commission aims the move “to protect the Commission from cybersecurity threats and actions that could be exploited in cyberattacks against the Commission’s corporate environment”.

The statement further added that security developments for “other social media platforms” are also under “continuous review.”

“The Commission is committed to adequately protecting our staff from increasing cyber threats and incidents. It is therefore our duty to respond to potential cyber alerts as quickly as possible.”

Why is TikTok a concern for some?

The heart of the concern is TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

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The company has faced criticism from those warning that the Chinese government could access user data such as browsing history and location.

China has laws that require private companies to cooperate with Beijing if asked.

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In a statement earlier this month following the ethics committee’s decision to open an investigation, a TikTok spokesperson told Global News that “success and growth come with scrutiny.”

“We are committed to meeting and exceeding Canadians’ expectations when it comes to data security and privacy,” the spokesperson said.

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The company continues to have a “constructive relationship” with the Canadian government and welcomes the opportunity to “work with policymakers to demonstrate how to protect the security and privacy of Canadian users,” they added. rice field.

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“We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight regarding our misrepresentation of the integrity of the TikTok platform,” the spokesperson said.

The European Commission’s decision is the latest in a series of crackdowns on the use of popular social media applications.

The app is banned in India, and the US is currently considering legislation to ban TikTok because it could be used to spy on Americans and censor content.

Congress recently banned TikTok from most US government-issued devices, citing bipartisan security concerns, and the US military also banned the app on military devices.

TikTok was the most downloaded application in 2022. According to Forbes.

research by Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan UniversityIt was released in September . However, it revealed that 76% of 18- to 24-year-olds have an account on the platform.

— with files from The Associated Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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