As TikTok bans expand across the globe, some say Canada should follow

According to Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong, Ottawa must probe into TikTok over rising national security concerns as more jurisdictions in the United States move on banning the controversial social media app based in mainland China.


According to him, the app’s reach and ability to influence algorithms and laws in China needing companies there to co-operate with the government, including on intelligence operations, could present a national security threat to Canada.

“I think the government needs to take this threat much more seriously than they have,” Chong said. “If you look at what our closest allies have done, they’ve all taken some action.”

Chong said algorithms could be controlled for foreign influence operations, such as spreading disinformation meant to politically divide Canadians, and data the app collects on Canadians themselves could be used in espionage operations. The social media platform, which hosts videos made by users meant to be entertainment, is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance.

TikTok Canada has stressed on the fears are unfounded and the company works to protect user data and algorithms.


In the United Kingdom, the government closed its Parliamentary TikTok account over the summer due to rising security risks.

The Data Protection Commission of Ireland recently sent the results of an inquiry into the handling of children’s data to other EU members. A draft decision from the inquiry said TikTok is also to be hit with a range of fines, as per a report from the Irish Times on Nov. 24.

This Tuesday U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and House Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi and Mike Gallagher brought forward a bipartisan legislation meant to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S.