Quebecers' personal data watchdog is concerned about Chinese video app TikTok, which has access to the personal information of its young users.
“ ByteDance, owner of the TikTok application, provides its services to a very large number of people, of which a significant proportion of its target customers are young people”, explained to the JournalEvangeline LeBlanc, Communications Advisor at the Commission d'accès à l'information (CAI).
“ Considering their particular vulnerability and the potential volume of personal information in circulation, the Commission is actually concerned about some claims reported by the media,” she said.
In mid-June, a report by the BuzzFeed media that Chinese employees of TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, had access to non-public data of American users, shook the political class.
In the United States, senators last week went so far as to call for an investigation into TikTok, which is suspected of carrying out large-scale surveillance.
Experts also worried
In Quebec, cybersecurity experts have shared concerns.
“It is worrying. TikTok does not seem to be very careful about the protection of personal data and there have been strong suspicions of the transfer of personal data to China, “said the big boss of StreamScan, Karim Ganame.
According to Martin Lemay, Head of Security at Devolutions, given the platform, “ the data could be accessed by foreign governments and it is easy to create an account to impersonate a person ;”.
TikTok denies spying
Questioned by Le Journal, TikTok denied the accusations of experts and from American elected officials, who want to ban the video application again.
“ TikTok has never shared Canadian user data with the Chinese government, and we would not either if asked,” said a spokesperson in a written statement.
As of next September, companies will have to be more transparent. ence regarding consent, collection and use of their users’ information in Quebec (Bill 25).
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128