The Alberta government is joining the federal government in banning TikTok on all government-issued mobile devices, a spokesperson confirmed to QR Calgary on Wednesday.
“As part of our commitment to ensuring the integrity of all government IT devices, we have conducted a risk assessment of TikTok and have decided to remove and ban the application from all government devices,” said Melissa Crane, Alberta’s press secretary for technology and innovation.
“This will include all desktops, laptops, and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.”
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There have been no reported incidents of spying or information breaches resulting from the use of TikTok and the Alberta government is banning the app as a “proactive step” to safeguard its network security, Crane added.
“We will be automating the removal of TikTok from government devices, though staff are encouraged to remove the application immediately,” the press secretary said.
Alberta isn’t the only province to ban TikTok from its devices.
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The Quebec government’s cybersecurity minister also announced on Monday that the province will prohibit the app on government-issued devices as a “preventative measure.”
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“In light of research and analysis made regarding the use of TikTok, it seems necessary to apply the precautionary principle and to no longer allow the installation and use of this application for the moment,” Éric Caire said in a statement.
The move comes after federal Treasury Board President Mona Fortier announced Monday that TikTok will be removed from federally issued mobile devices after a review found that the app presents an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”
TikTok banned on all Canadian government devices over ‘unacceptable’ risk
TikTok’s data collection methods on mobile devices provide “considerable access” to the phone’s contents, the federal government said, but there is no evidence that government information has been compromised.
Both the U.S. and the European Union made similar moves against TikTok, which has links to the Chinese government. The privacy concerns stem from a Chinese law that requires companies to co-operate with Beijing if asked.
The federal privacy commissioner announced last Thursday that their office will join privacy watchdogs in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta to “jointly investigate the short-form video streaming application,” a post on the federal watchdog’s website said.
— with files from Global News’ Rachel Gilmore and Kalina Laframboise.
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