The Broadbent Institute is keeping TikTok as a sponsor during their upcoming conference, despite rising national security concerns from the government of Canada regarding the popular app.
TikTok is sponsoring the policy thinktank’s opening reception on Wednesday in Ottawa.
“We have a fundraising approach that makes clear sponsors do not direct the Institute, and our good work speaks for itself,” Jen Hassum, executive director of the Broadbent Institute, said in a statement.
“We will keep following this developing news story and will obviously reevaluate if there are new developments or if any specific allegations emerge. Like others who carry ads or accept donations, we will respond appropriately to any new information.”
The chief information officer of Canada completed a review of the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform and determined it posed an “unacceptable” level of risk to privacy and security.
That led to the federal government and House of Commons banning the app from devices earlier this week, following similar moves in the United States and European Union.
Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia have all enacted similar bans.
Political guests set to speak at the annual conference include New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh and Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan.
Singh, along with Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, are among those who have said they will suspend their use of TikTok.
Treasury Board President Mona Fortier’s office has said all Liberal MPs were asked to suspend their TikTok accounts and remove the app from both their work and personal devices.
A law China implemented in 2017 requires companies to give the government any personal data relevant to the country’s national security, but there’s been no evidence TikTok has turned over information.
While the new ban doesn’t go as far as outlawing the app entirely in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it might encourage people and businesses to reflect on the security of their own data.
TikTok has accused the Canadian government of singling out the company, adding it’s always open to meet with government officials to discuss how it protects Canadians’ privacy.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2023.
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