Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that Canada would be banning Chinese social media app TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices.
US Congress is currently debating allowing TikTok's parent company from doing any business in the US. Trudeau said that the step was one of many that may or may not happen.
“We take very seriously freedom of expression and freedom for Canadians to engage how they want online but there are principles around data protection and Canadian security that we'll always step up for.
Trudeau said Canada was “looking carefully” on how Canadians can be kept safe online.
“I suspect that as government takes the significant step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones many Canadians from business to private individuals will reflect on the security of their own data and perhaps make choices,” Trudeau said.
“I’m always a fan of giving Canadians the information for them to make the right decisions for them,” he continued.
On Thursday, Canada's federal privacy protection authority as well as those of British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec, announced that they would be launching a joint investigation into TikTok.
The four privacy protection authorities said in a statement that they will examine whether TikTok is acting in compliance with Canadian privacy legislation with a particular focus on “whether valid and meaningful consent is being obtained for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.”
“The investigation,” they wrote, “will also determine if the company is meeting its transparency obligations, particularly when collecting personal information from its users.”
The move to ban the app from government devices comes as his government deals with a scandal involving China and the role that it played in the 2019 election.