TikTok is being investigated by Canadian privacy protection regulators for its data collection practices, amid concerns that user information is shared with Beijing. The popular video-sharing platform is owned by Chinese company ByteDance and has faced scrutiny from various quarters.
The European Commission staff were instructed to delete the app due to concerns over privacy protection. In response, TikTok emphasized that it considers privacy to be a high priority.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has initiated an investigation into TikTok, in collaboration with provincial privacy regulators from Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec.
The investigation was initiated “in the wake of now-settled class-action lawsuits in the United States and Canada, as well as numerous media reports related to TikTok’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information,” a statement said.
It aims to establish “whether the organisation’s practices are in compliance with Canadian privacy legislation”.
The privacy regulators said lots of TikTok’s users are younger, and there is a greater “importance of protecting children’s privacy”.
The regulators will investigate whether the company is fulfilling its transparency responsibilities.
TikTok’s representative stated that the investigation presents a chance for the company to clarify its stance on safeguarding the privacy of Canadians.
Governments worldwide have expressed concerns regarding TikTok, fearing that China could potentially utilize the app to harvest users’ data or promote its interests. Canada is the latest country to voice apprehensions.
The Dutch government cautioned public officials against using the app last month, and in the US, federal government employees are prohibited from utilizing the platform.
Despite some Conservative MPs’ renewed concerns, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is refusing to ban government officials from using TikTok. The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman, Alicia Kearns, is urging the UK government to follow in the footsteps of the European Commission, the EU executive, and the EU Council by directing staff to delete the app.
TikTok has stated previously that Beijing cannot access data on its service.