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B.C. privacy commissioner part of interprovincial, federal TikTok investigation

Privacy Commissioner of Canada says it has teamed up with the offices of the information and privacy commissioners
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This photo shows the TikTok icon on a phone screen. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Federal and several provincial privacy authorities say they will jointly investigate TikTok.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada says it has teamed up with the offices of the information and privacy commissioners in B.C., Alberta and Quebec to look into the short-form video streaming application.

They will examine whether TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is in compliance with Canadian privacy legislation and whether “valid and meaningful” consent is being obtained for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

The investigation is also aimed at determined whether the company is meeting transparency obligations, especially when collecting personal information from its users.

The final piece of the investigation will focus on TikTok’s privacy practices that apply to children and youths, who comprise a large portion of the app’s userbase.

TikTok has long been embroiled in privacy concerns because the Chinese government has a stake in ByteDance and laws allow the country to access user data.

“The privacy and safety of the TikTok community, particularly our younger users, is always a top priority, and we are committed to operating with transparency to earn and maintain the trust of the many Canadians who create and find joy on our platform,” TikTok spokesperson Danielle Morgan said in a statement.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the federal and provincial privacy protection authorities to set the record straight on how we protect the privacy of Canadians.”

The Canadian Press

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