Canada has launched an investigation on social media giant TikTok amid fears its parent Chinese company could collect data on Canadians.
The announcement comes on the heels of class action lawsuits in Canada and the US that have been settled.
“The investigation was initiated in the wake of now settled class action lawsuits in the United States and Canada, as well as numerous media reports related to TikTok’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information,” the privacy commissioner said in a statement.
The federal commissioner and his three provincial counterparts want to ensure that TikTok’s practices are “in compliance” with Canadian privacy rules.
The commissioners will also investigate whether “meaningful consent is being obtained for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.”
“An important proportion of TikTok users are younger users,” the commissioners said. “Given the importance of protecting children’s privacy, the joint investigation will have a particular focus on TikTok’s privacy practices as they relate to younger users, including whether the company obtained valid and meaningful consent from these users for the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information.”
In particular, the privacy commissioners are concerned with the company’s short-form in-video streaming. TikTok has a search feature that allows searches by people’s faces.
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, and the latter has engendered concerns that the Chinese government could access user data.
A TikTok spokesperson told Global News that the “privacy and safety of the TikTok community (is) always a top priority.”
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE