The Canadian government on Monday banned TikTok from all of its phones and other devices, citing concerns about data protection.
TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese, has faced increasing Western scrutiny in recent months over fears about how much access Beijing has to user data.
Effective Tuesday, “the TikTok application will be removed from government-issued mobile devices. Users of these devices will also be blocked from downloading the application in the future,” the government said in a statement.
It added that Canada’s chief information officer had “determined that it presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”
Although there’s been no evidence of breaches of government data linked to the app, it warned that “TikTok’s data collection methods provide considerable access to the contents of the phone.”
The European Commission banned the app from its equipment last week, following similar moves in the United States.
A TikTok spokesperson said the Canadian decision to block TikTok was “curious” as it was taken “without citing any specific security concern” or consultation with the company.
Relations between China and Canada have deteriorated sharply in recent years, particularly after Canada’s arrest on a US warrant of a Huawei senior executive in 2018 and China’s retaliatory detention of two Canadian nationals.
Last week, Canada’s privacy commissioner launched an investigation into TikTok over its collection and use of users’ personal information.