Due to privacy and security concerns, Canada banned the Chinese messaging app WeChat and the Russian antivirus programme Kaspersky from government-issued mobile devices on Monday. However, the government has maintained that no official data had been seized.
According to a statement issued by the Treasury Board of Canada, the ban was announced after Canada's Chief Information Officer determined that Tencent-owned WeChat and Kaspersky applications present an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security. The decision, which came without warning or an opportunity for the company to respond to the government's concerns, astonished and disappointed Kaspersky.
"As there has been no evidence or due process to otherwise justify these actions, they are highly unsupported and a response to the geopolitical climate rather than a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of Kaspersky's products and services," according to a statement released by the business.
The Treasury Board stated that it has no proof that government information has been compromised, but the gathering methods of the programmes allow for extensive access to the contents of a device, and the hazards of utilizing them are "clear."
"The decision to remove and block the WeChat and the Kaspersky applications was made to ensure that government of Canada networks and data remain secure and protected and are in line with the approach of our international partners," the statement went on to say.
On Monday, the apps will be withdrawn from government-issued mobile devices, and users will be barred from downloading them in the future. TikTok, a short-video app owned by the Chinese business Bytedance, was banned from government-issued devices in Canada in February due to similar privacy and security concerns.