by Nehitha Jayakumar
Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced on Monday (2/27/2023) that the social media platform “TikTok” will be banned on all government-operated devices in the nation. This action was taken in response to mounting data security concerns surrounding the app. Many people have been skeptical about this app despite its increasing popularity among people, especially the younger generation, due to its Chinese ownership. Many fear that sensitive information from Western users could fall in the hands of the Chinese government. Due to these privacy concerns, many officials from all over the world are raising concerns regarding TikTok and are taking steps to limit its usage.
This ban will ensure that federal employees are blocked from downloading and using the app in the future. This move follows similar action of the United States and the European Union. As of now Canada has only decided to restrict TikTok on government operated devices, meaning it will still be available for the public to use. However, Justin Trudeau explains that banning TikTok in the government is the correct step to take to ensure the safety of the Canadian people while also giving them the freedom to use the app outside. Regarding TikTok, he states, “This may be a first step; it may be the only step we need to take.” This action has proved to add onto the tensions between China and the West regarding technology and privacy. European nations and the United States are still wary of China’s intent with TikTok and the immense power it holds in possibly breaching the security and privacy of their nations.
Despite these claims TikTok denies these accusations and believes that it is wrong to single out TikTok as the only threat to their national security with no evidence. A TikTok spokesperson wrote in an email, “It’s curious that the government of Canada has moved to block TikTok on government-issued devices without citing any specific security concern or contacting us with questions only after similar bans were introduced in the EU and the US.” Regardless of the increasing skepticism regarding TikTok in the government, its billions of users continue to use the app and enjoy all it has to offer. While it is true that there have been many safety concerns raised about TikTok, it is without doubt that it is a beloved source of entertainment for many.