EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared on The Trillium, a new Village Media website devoted exclusively to covering provincial politics at Queen’s Park


TikTok has been banned from all Ontario government devices, Treasury Board President Prabmeet Sarkaria announced late on Thursday.

The ban comes less than two weeks after The Trillium first reported the provincial government was considering it.

“Effective immediately, the Ontario government has started the removal of the social media application TikTok from all Ontario government-issued devices. Also effective immediately, all Ontario PC party caucus members will begin the removal of the application from all personal mobile devices,” Sarkaria said in an emailed statement.

As part of the ban, the government will also end its advertising campaigns on the uber-popular app known best, perhaps, for facilitating teen dance trends or eroding users’ productivity with its endless stream of algorithmically targeted video clips.

The government’s reasoning for the ban is separate, however: it’s over security concerns.

A group of the country’s privacy commissioners launched an investigation into the app, and Canada’s chief information officer has said TikTok “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”

The platform has long been subject to privacy concerns because of the Chinese government’s stake in its owner, ByteDance, and the country’s laws that allow it to access user data. 

“The decision to block the TikTok application from government-issued and personal devices is a proactive and precautionary approach to ensuring the protection of government data and networks,” Sarkaria said in his statement.

“While no data breaches have occurred, our government takes all allegations and concerns about data integrity incredibly seriously.”

The federal government announced a ban of Tiktok from its devices less than two weeks ago. Canada and China have also been on iffy terms — to put it politely — for a few years and reports about China’s attempted meddling in the last two federal elections have heightened concerns.

Some Ontario cities and police services have also recently banned the app from devices they own as well.

—With files from Jessica Smith Cross and The Canadian Press