B.C. has temporarily banned TikTok from government-issued mobile devices for security concerns.
Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare issued the ban on the Chinese-owned short-video app Monday (Feb. 27) by social media.
“Due to national and international concerns that have emerged…regarding this particular platform, and out of an abundance of caution, we feel it is prudent to temporarily ban the use of the TikTok application on government-issued mobile devices as we continue to examine the risks associated with the application,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Effective immediately, the TikTok application will not be permitted on government-issued mobile devices.”
Beare said protection of government data and networks is a top priority for her ministry, adding that B.C. has an expert team dedicated to protecting systems from intrusions and security risks.
Beare issued the ban on the same day as the federal government issued its own ban, which came into effect Tuesday (Feb. 28). Other provinces have followed since.
“We will continue to examine the issue in coordination with our federal and provincial counterparts,” Beare said.
B.C.’s ban is taking place against the backdrop of concerns that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance based in China is sharing user information with the Chinese government. This concern is not new, but has amplified in recent weeks.
It is not clear how many mobile devices the provincial ban affects. Both the BC Liberals and BC Greens have said they will join the ban with the BC Greens said to post a farewell message Wednesday afternoon.
Black Press Media has reached to Beare’s ministry for additional comment.