Trudeau Government Still Advertising on China’s Tik Tok Despite Ban

TikTok displayed on mobile with on screen Canada flag, seen in this photo illustration. On
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The Canadian federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is still using the Chinese-owned app Tik Tok for advertising despite banning it on all government employee devices.

The Canadian government banned employees from using the controversial social media app last month amid what it termed an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security,” but reports note that the government continues to engage with Tik Tok for advertising.

Brett Caraway, an associate professor at the University of Toronto told broadcaster CBC that the policy seemed contradictory saying, “It seems a little bit like a double standard to me to say, ‘Well, it’s it’s too dangerous for any of our employees to have, but it’s okay for reaching teenagers.”

Vass Bednar, who serves as executive director of McMaster University’s Master of Public Policy in Digital Society Program was also critical saying, “I don’t think it’s the right use of tax dollars if we are in fact so newly serious and cautious about this one app.”

According to CBC, the federal government advertises for recruitment in the Canadian armed forces and promotes other initiatives on Tik Tok, including those regarding online disinformation and public safety.

Canada’s ban on Tik Tok for federal employees was announced by the country’s chief information officer, who stated the app’s “data collection methods provide considerable access to the contents of the phone.”

Canada is not the only country to ban Tik Tok in recent weeks yet keep using it to spread government messaging to young people, as the United Kingdom also announced a ban on the use of the app earlier this month.

Government spokesman Oliver Dowden commented on the ban saying there was a “specific risk” to government devices and that the government would “going to ban the use of TikTok on government devices. We will do so with immediate effect… Overall this approach aligns with action taken by allies including the United States, Canada, and the EU.”

Yet despite the ban, the UK government said there would be specific exclusions from the rule to allow some government devices to keep it installed “where it is required for operational reasons”.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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