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UDN: Canadian Bans WeChat on Government Devices

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that Canada has banned the use of Chinese messaging app WeChat on government-issued mobile devices, citing privacy and security risks. The Canadian government stated in an announcement that the applications WeChat and Kaspersky will be removed immediately from government-issued devices and that users of those devices will be blocked from downloading those two programs in the future.

The new bans follow action by Ottawa authorities to ban TikTok on government devices in February of 2023. Anita Anand, chairwoman of the Canadian Treasury Board, which oversees Canada’s federal public services, said Canada’s information chiefs believe the two apps “pose an unacceptable risk to privacy and security.” She added that no information leaks have been detected yet, but that the two platforms’ data collection methods on mobile devices “provide substantial access to device content.” She concluded that “the decision to remove and block WeChat and Kaspersky apps is to ensure that Canadian government networks and data remain secure and protected, in line with the practices of our international partners.”

According to UDN, WeChat did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: UDN, October 31, 2023