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US and Canada: TikTok Ban on Government Cell Phones

In the US and Canada, government employees are now required to remove the Chinese social media app Tiktok from their work devices for security reasons. The regulation already applies to EU employees and – in part – to employees of the central government.
In the US, on Monday (local time) government agencies are given 30 days to ensure that the video app is no longer used on company cell phones and other devices, as required by US President Joe Biden’s administration.

In Canada, the ban came into effect on Tuesday. Responsible Canadian minister Mona Fortier justified the ban in Ottawa as an “unacceptable risk to privacy and security.”

Donald Trump already wanted to ban TikTok from the US.

Former US President Donald Trump already wanted to ban TikTok – primarily out of concern for data security.

10/23/2020 | 15:26 minutes

It was said to be a precautionary measure. There is currently no evidence that government data was compromised. However, TikTok’s collection methods allowed significant access to mobile device content. Hence, download of the app on government devices will be blocked. Applications that have already been downloaded should be removed.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to a question about whether the government was considering a nationwide ban on Tik Tok: “This may be a first step. This may be the only step we have to take. But we will make sure every step of the way. We protect the safety of Canadians.”

TikTok expressed disappointment. A spokesperson said the Canadian government had not contacted the company to address its concerns.

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Brussels has banned the use of TikTok on EU companies’ mobile phones.

The reason is security concerns like potential cyber attacks.

02/23/2023 | 00:20 min

The TikTok ban on company cell phones and laptops also applies in Germany – for example to employees of the Federal Press Office and some ministries in Berlin. Still, the government is continuing to test whether it wants to operate on TikTok, said deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Buchner.

The federal government argues that — with respect to its use of the social media platform Facebook, which is not controversial — it must weigh data protection concerns against concerns about being able to inform as many people as possible about the government’s work. . His presence in social services is essential for this.

According to government spokesman Buchner, there may be a legal conflict between the government and the federal commissioner.

The Central Government has announced that it will be represented on Facebook for the time being – contrary to the recommendations of the Central Data Protection Commissioner:

With one billion users worldwide, TikTok is especially popular with the younger generation. You can create short videos and an algorithm will recommend videos to watch.

However, there are massive data security concerns and, above all, fears about the Chinese government’s access to TikTok’s Chinese parent company, Bytance.

TikTok and the Chinese government dismiss such concerns.