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UBC encourages students to uninstall TikTok app, citing ‘not yet’ proven data risks

School recommending students use web browser to access TikTok content

The University of British Columbia is encouraging students to uninstall the TikTok app from their mobile phones, citing concerns about data sharing with the social media platform’s Chinese parent company.

Instead, the school recommends students use a web browser to access TikTok content.

The school says in a statement issued last week that the app is one of UBC’s fastest-growing social media platforms, used by students, staff and faculty for entertainment, research, outreach and recruitment.

However, it says the video platform has sparked security and privacy concerns about its data collection practices and sharing data with corporate parent ByteDance, although these risks are “not yet” proven.

UBC’s official TikTok account, which has over 4,000 followers, continues to operate, posting a video featuring cherry blossom scenery on campus the day after the university issued its warning.

The school says it is not considering a ban on TikTok on university-owned devices, although it notes that federal and B.C. authorities have placed such bans on government-owned devices.

UBC spokesman Matthew Ramsey says in a statement the school is monitoring the situation closely.

“While we recognize the security and privacy risks of using TikTok, the nature of these risks has not yet been proven and has not changed overnight.”

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