Canadian privacy regulators begin TikTok probe

Canadian privacy regulators announced Thursday that they have launched an investigation into TikTok's use and collection of personal information from users.

The Chinese-owned platform is coming under increasing scrutiny in the West, and Canada's action comes just hours after the European Commission banned the app from all employees' work devices in order to "protect" the institution.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada announced a joint investigation into TikTok with provincial privacy regulators from Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta.

The investigation was launched "following 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," according to a statement.

The investigation seeks to determine "whether the organization's practices are in accordance with Canadian privacy legislation."

Many of the social network's users are younger, according to privacy regulators, and there is a greater "importance of protecting children's privacy."

The massively popular video-sharing platform, owned by Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, has drawn increased scrutiny from the West due to concerns that Beijing could access user data from all over the world.

The US Congress passed a ban on downloading TikTok for most government devices in late December, which President Joe Biden signed, and momentum is building among lawmakers to broaden it even further.

China-Canada relations have deteriorated dramatically in recent years, particularly after Canada arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US in 2018.

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