OTTAWA — The Canadian government is not warning against downloads of the popular Chinese app TikTok, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s office confirmed Tuesday, though the United States is telling its citizens using the platform means they’re handing their private data over to the Chinese Communist Party.
“The role of Public Safety is to ensure that our cyber networks are secure,” Blair’s press secretary Mary-Liz Power told HuffPost Canada. “We work with the national cyber security strategy and the centre to ensure that Canadians are safe when they are online, but there has been no, you know, directions about specific social media companies.”
In a statement, Blair said: “Our government continues to work in close collaboration with agencies and leaders in the technology sector to ensure Canadians and our systems are protected.”
Watch: U.S. considering banning TikTok, Mike Pompeo says
Blair’s comments come on the heels of warnings by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Americans should download TikTok “only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The app allows users to create and share short videos, which are typically meant to be humorous. It is the No. 1 entertainment app in Canada. Globally, it has been downloaded more than two billion times, according to Sensor Tower estimates.
In an interview Monday on Fox News, Pompeo suggested potential restrictions against TikTok may be coming, saying he didn’t want to trump any announcement the U.S. president might make.
“...We’re taking this very seriously,” he told host Laura Ingraham. “...We’ve worked on this very issue for a long time, whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure. We’ve gone all over the world and we’re making real progress getting that out. We declared ZTE [a Chinese telecommunications firm] a danger to American national security. We’ve done all of these things.