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Canada. TikTok on censored. Canadian intelligence alert

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Canadian e-intelligence is making recommendations on China’s TikTok app and warning users not to allow installed apps to access private data. The growing concern over the use of TikTok stems from the fact that Chinese companies are required by Chinese law to share their information with the government in Beijing.

The government’s cybersecurity center, of which the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is a part, is preparing new recommendations for Canadians on the use of TikTok and other applications that, when installed on the phone, try to access stored private data, Canadian media reported. In recent months, in USA federal employees banned from TikTok on national security grounds.

Data obtained by TikTok

A few weeks ago, the prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau reported that Canadian intelligence is analyzing the operation of TikTok. The application is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, and the growing concern about the use of TikTok stems from the fact that Chinese companies are required by law to share their data with the government in Beijing. The second reason is the scope of data that the Chinese application collects about users.

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According to an analysis published last summer, by experts from the Dutch VPNOverview.com, after examining the range of data accessed by popular applications used to modify the appearance of the face, many of these applications – including TikTok – download data that is not needed to transform photos. For example, these are the contacts of the phone owner, information about payment cards or information about the name and surname. The data is broken down into eight categories, and TikTok is the app that pulls data from all eight categories and stores it indefinitely.

CSE head Sami Khoury told public broadcaster CBC that users should think carefully before sharing their data. – Why should the app have access to my entire contact list? Why should he have access to my calendar, e-mails, phone numbers, text messages? – said Khoury, pointing out that the compilation of data allows for the creation of valuable information resources. “In some cases, it ends up in places that are not governed by the same rule of law and respect for human rights,” he added.

In addition to warnings from government officials, some MPs have already called for an investigation. As reported by CityNews TV, Conservative MP Michael Chong claimed that TikTok could modify the algorithms used to exert influence, and due to the popularity of the application, this poses a threat to the security of the country.

The government’s intelligence-recommendation page highlights that many social media platforms store data off-site Canada, and not everywhere apply similar data protection standards to Canada. However, the recommendations have not been modified since July 2019.

Company assurances

TikTok assured in the Canadian media that it stores the data of Canadians in Singapore and the US, and the company reiterates that it is ready to cooperate with the government.

However, just a month ago, ByteDance announced the firing of three employees and the departure of another employee after an investigation found that last summer. obtained “inappropriate” access to the data of two American journalists. Reuters reported that the laid-off employees were trying to determine whether there were links between ByteDance employees and journalists from the Financial Times and BuzzFeed. Two of the people laid off were employed by ByteDance in the US, and two in China.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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