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Trudeau Cautions Against TikTok, Echoes Top Spy’s Concerns

Justin Trudeau warns Canadians to listen to our top spy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged Canadians to heed the warnings of David Vigneault, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), regarding the privacy risks posed by TikTok.

Speaking at a press conference in Winnipeg, Trudeau emphasized the seriousness of Vigneault’s concerns, which were aired in a CBC interview. Vigneault alleged that TikTok collects extensive personal data that could be accessed by the Chinese government.

“My answer as director of [the Canadian Security Intelligence Service] is that there is a very clear strategy on the part of the government of China … to be able to acquire … personal information from anyone around the world,” Vigneault stated, recommending against using the app.

“Canadians need to listen,” Trudeau says after CSIS warning

In response, Trudeau highlighted that his government had already banned TikTok from federal public employees’ devices in February 2023.

He expressed the importance of Canadians taking Vigneault’s warning seriously and mentioned that Canada would observe how the United States handles the app before deciding on further action. U.S. lawmakers have proposed legislation that could ban TikTok if its Chinese ownership does not divest within nine months.

“We’re going to see how TikTok responds,” Trudeau said. He pointed out that the primary concern is the potential misuse of user data by the Chinese government for nefarious purposes.

TikTok has denied any control by the Chinese government and asserted that user data is not accessible to Beijing. The Chinese government, on the other hand, has criticized the U.S. for what it describes as an abuse of state power to undermine a successful foreign social media company.

As the U.S. moves closer to potentially banning TikTok, Trudeau’s comments underscore the growing international scrutiny over the app’s data security practices. The Canadian government’s stance reflects broader concerns about privacy and national security linked to Chinese technology companies.

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