ontario news watch

Feds ban WeChat, Kaspesky apps from government-issued devices over security concerns

OTTAWA — The federal government is banning WeChat and Kaspersky applications from its phones over security concerns.

WeChat is a social network, messaging and payments app from Chinese company Tencent, while Kaspersky was founded by Russian entrepreneur Eugene Kaspersky and offers cybersecurity and antivirus software.

The government says both apps will be removed from its devices today and users will be blocked from downloading WeChat or Kaspersky products in the future.

It says it made the move because the chief information officer of Canada determined that the WeChat and Kaspersky apps present “an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”

The officer says the apps’ data collection methods provide considerable access to the contents of any mobile device they’re on and the government wanted to ensure their networks and data remain secure.

The government says it has no evidence that information has been compromised as a result of employees using the apps.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

The Canadian Press