Trudeau says his kids ‘no longer access’ TikTok after Canadian government ban

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Not even the children of the prime minister are exempt from a ban on TikTok for government-issued devices.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s teenage daughter and son, Ella-Grace and Xavier, “no longer access TikTok,” the father of three told reporters during a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden in Ottawa on March 24. Trudeau’s youngest son, Hadrien, is only nine years old.

On the first day of Biden’s first presidential visit to Canada, the two leaders answered questions about topics ranging from Norad to instability in Haiti to whether Trudeau feels comfortable with his children or family members using the social media app.

“I am obviously concerned with their privacy and their security,” Trudeau told reporters, “which is why I’m glad that on their phones, that happen to be issued by the government, they no longer access TikTok. That was a big frustration for them.”

On Feb. 28, the Canada joined the United States and the European Union in banning the app on federal government-issued devices over privacy and security concerns. The governments of all 10 provinces and three territories have also followed suit.

Trudeau said he also has concerns about the extent to which apps like TikTok expose teenagers, including his, to misinformation, disinformation and “malicious activity.”

When it comes to the internet in general, he said governments also have a responsibility to keep people safe in what amounts to a virtual public square, including by taking legislative action against online hate speech and incitements to commit violence.

Like many parents, Trudeau said he’s spent a lot of time talking with his children about “what’s online and how they should try and go outside and play a little more sports and not get so wrapped up in their phones.”

He said he will continue to do so, and encouraged other parents and guardians to do the same.

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