Saskatchewan Polytech bans social media platform TikTok on its devices

The TikTok app is now banned on Saskatchewan Polytechnic devices. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters - image credit)
The TikTok app is now banned on Saskatchewan Polytechnic devices. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters - image credit)

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has joined the growing number of institutions banning TikTok on its devices.

"Saskatchewan Polytechnic has made the decision to prohibit the social media app TikTok from all Sask Polytech devices," spokesperson Brianna Bergeron said in an emailed statement. "This decision is due to recent announcements by the government of Canada and the government of Saskatchewan"

The federal government announced at the end of last month that it was banning the social media platform. The Saskatchewan government followed suit days later.

Those moves followed a review by the Canada's chief information officer that found TikTok's data collection methods could lead to cyberattacks.

The video-focused app is owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance. Chinese laws allow the country to demand access to user data.

Last month, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, along with its counterparts in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, launched a joint federal and provincial investigation into TikTok.

"Sask Polytech is waiting for the results of the investigation by the federal privacy commissioner," Bergeron wrote. "Sask Polytech's [information technology] policies and procedures incorporate best practices to detect, mitigate and protect against cybersecurity threats."

Kirk Fraser/CBC
Kirk Fraser/CBC

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan's two universities have not implemented bans on TikTok.

In a statement on Thursday, a University of Saskatchewan spokesperson said the university is continually evaluating its information technology policies to protect privacy and security.

"We discourage the use of all social media platforms on USask-owned devices, but do not have policies that prohibit such use at this time," the statement said. "While we consistently assess a variety of social media platforms, we have not yet determined it necessary to adjust University processes related to USask-owned devices for TikTok at this time."

The University of Regina also "constantly" evaluates its information technology policies but isn't making any changes regarding TikTok at this time, according to an emailed statement. TikTok is allowed on university devices, but it is not on the list of applications that are technically supported.

"While TikTok is not an application supported by the university, we are also not aware of any new and specific information which would suggest an immediate need to re-evaluate this particular app in the context of university policy," the statement said.

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