Canadian privacy regulators launch joint investigation into TikTok

Canadian privacy regulators launch joint investigation into TikTok

OTTAWA, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Canada is launching a joint federal and provincial investigation into the TikTok short video app over concerns about the Chinese platform’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information, a said the Privacy Commissioner of Canada on Thursday.

The federal privacy regulator, along with its provincial counterparts in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, will review whether TikTok’s practices comply with Canadian privacy laws, the office said. of the commissioner in a press release.

They will focus on reviewing “whether valid and meaningful consent is obtained for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information,” according to the statement.

A TikTok spokesperson said user privacy and safety “is always a top priority” and the investigation was an opportunity to “set the record straight” on how the company protects the privacy of Canadians.

Canada joins governments and regulators around the world who have scrutinized TikTok over concerns that China could use the app to harvest user data or advance its interests. TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd.

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The two largest political institutions of the European Union have banned TikTok from staff phones, while the US Senate passed a bill in December banning federal employees from using the app on government-owned devices.

The investigation also adds another potential thorn in China-Canada relations which have been strained for a variety of reasons, including Ottawa’s recent accusations that China tried to influence its election and conducted aerial surveillance. and maritime.

Beijing denies the allegations and has urged Ottawa to end unwarranted speculation and slander.

Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chris Reese

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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