TikTok could be banned in Ontario schools


Published March 10, 2023 at 1:05 pm

tiktok ontario schools
Photo by cottonbro studio

Officials are now looking at extending a policy to ban the social media platform TikTok in Ontario schools.

Following a ban at the federal level, the Ontario government announced yesterday (March 9) that it was banning TikTok from government-owned devices and on the personal devices of Progressive Conservative Party caucus members.

The ban stems from privacy concerns and data breaches connected to China’s government.

The company that owns TikTok maintains that it does not share data with China’s government and its data is not held in that country. But the federal and provincial governments say the ban is a precautionary measure.

And now, Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, said he is looking into a policy for Ontario’s schools.

“I think we all have to have a pause for concern about its (TikTok) application, which is why the government took a decisive decision yesterday,” said Lecce said at a press conference today in Mississauga.

Lecce added that he is looking into a policy for schools.

“I’m in communications with members of our governments on what additional steps we can take to potentially extend that policy to schools and to other applications,” he said.

He echoed concerns about TikTok and privacy.

“We obviously share a very profound concern about the privacy impacts for young people,” he said.

And children may sign up for the application without fully understanding the user agreement and its impact long term.

“I am concerned by what’s happening in schools with the use of the proliferation of this technology,” Lecce said.

Lecce said he raised the matter yesterday with senior officials.

Social media, in general, presents distractions and impacts mental health, he added.

A few years ago, cell phones were banned from the classroom except for education purposes.

“But it’s difficult for the enforcement side, when kids are taken out to the playground or in the cafeteria,” he said.

Lecce added that he will speak more about TikTok in schools as soon as a decision is made.

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