Well, the good news is that you’ve been spared my dancing (which in all honesty is a bit like Elaine from Seinfeld) for just a little while longer. I was just about to start my own TikTok account, but now I think I’ll wait to see what happens with the recently announced investigation by the regulators at the federal level and in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.
This is the privacy story that, while not entirely new, seems to be getting the most buzz in Canada this week.
It looks like the regulators will be examining whether TikTok is complying with consent and transparency obligations under privacy law, with a particular focus on the platform’s practices toward young people. And it’s a big enough issue that all four offices are investigating jointly. While enforcement collaborations have been increasing over time, it’s not something you see every day.
This all flows from a wider movement and reaction to TikTok we’ve been seeing worldwide and that is now squarely in our backyard.
You know it’s a concern when New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, who has almost 900,000 followers on TikTok, announced he is pausing his account — one that seems to have been integral to his party’s work, especially to reach younger voters. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also announced the platform will be banned from government equipment and devices due to security concerns, and other governments in Canada are following suit. Many businesses are sure to follow.
I think it will be interesting to see not only what the Canadian privacy regulators find, hopefully sooner rather than later, but what the actual outcome or effect of those findings will be for the company and for the use of the platform by Canadians and organizations in the longer term. We will also have to watch what they say in terms of the privacy of children and young people, something that seems to be only growing in importance.
Anyway, for now, just count yourselves extra lucky I’m keeping my dancing shoes off as this all plays out.
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