The City of Montreal prohibits the use of TikTok on mobile devices provided to its staff

The City of Montreal prohibits the use of TikTok on mobile devices provided to its staff

In a constant desire to ensure increased security of its computer equipment and the protection of the data it holds, the City of Montreal has decided to prohibit the use of the TikTok application on all mobile devices it provides to its staff including our borough of Parc-Extension until further notice.

“The City of Montreal wants to maintain the highest standards in terms of cybersecurity. The city therefore requested the removal of the TikTok app from mobile devices provided to employees until further notice. We are currently evaluating the risks associated with using the platform, in line with our counterparts in Quebec and Ottawa. The security of the data of citizens and City staff remains a priority,” said the Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante.

Although the preliminary analysis carried out by its teams concludes that the risk is low for the moment, the City of Montreal wishes to act preventively. The latter will therefore take the time to continue its reflection and deepen its analysis of the situation before officially deciding on the long-term use of the TikTok application on the mobile devices it provides to its staff.

TikTok facing global backlash

Cybersecurity and Digital Security Minister Eric Caire announced the new guidelines on Monday afternoon, February 27th, after Ottawa had already said the mobile app would be banned from government devices starting February 28.

“The ban is precautionary and there is no evidence that a foreign country is spying on government officials through this app,” Caire said. “The security of information and the protection of data held by public administration bodies remains a top priority for the Government of Quebec, which is why we are adopting this precautionary measure.” The federal government banned TikTok from its mobile devices days after federal and provincial privacy commissioners launched an investigation into the social media platform.The decision follows a review by Canada’s chief information officer, which found that TikTok presented an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”  The US and European Union recently banned government personnel from using TikTok on work devices. A TikTok spokesperson said the social media company is always open to meeting with government officials to discuss how to protect Canadians’ privacy.