Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner
Notice: Privacy protection authorities for Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec launch investigation into TikTok
Wed, Mar 08, 2023
An investigation into TikTok has been launched by Canadian privacy commissioners that have jurisdiction over private companies and private organizations that operate in Canada. The federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies to private businesses operating in Canada unless a province has substantially similar legislation to PIPEDA.
As TikTok is owned by a private company, the Yukon Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA) does not provide jurisdiction to the Office of the Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner, which therefore cannot investigate privacy complaints related to the short-form video streaming application.
The federal privacy commissioner and the commissioners of Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec have initiated a joint investigation of TikTok as indicated at Announcement: Commissioners launch joint investigation into TikTok – Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. They are investigating concerns about privacy and consent.
The United States and the European Union have taken steps to ban the TikTok app. On February 27th the Government of Canada also indicated it was banning the TikTok app from government-issued mobile devices.
As well, the Government of Yukon has announced that it will be removing the TikTok application from all government-issued mobile devices and will prevent it from being installed on government devices in the future. A number of provinces and cities have announced a ban of TikTok on their governments’ mobile devices.
These decisions are being taken as a precaution. The Government of Canada found that while there are security risks with the application, at this time there is no evidence that any government information has been compromised. If the joint investigation eventually concludes there are no concerns, organizations can then decide whether to allow the TikTok app to be used on work phones.
The Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner only allows applications that are required for work purposes to be installed on work devices. The TikTok application does not serve this purpose.
With TikTok or any app, an organization should determine whether having a particular app on employer-owned mobile devices serves a business purpose. As to personally-owned devices, each person must make individual decisions as to the use of TikTok, after taking steps to learn about the possible implications.
The Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. For more information, please go to www.yukonombudsman.ca.
To download a PDF of this notice, click here.
Elaine Schiman, Communications Manager
Office of the Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner & Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner