The Government of Canada has banned WeChat and Kaspersky suite of applications

The Government of Canada has banned WeChat and Kaspersky suite of applications

November 27, 2023

Effective October 30, 2023, The Government of Canada has banned WeChat and the Kaspersky suite of applications from government-issued mobile devices. Users of these devices will also be blocked from downloading the applications in the future.

Noted in their statement, the Government of Canada has determined that WeChat and the Kaspersky suite of applications present an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security. The statement explains that on a mobile device, the WeChat and Kaspersky applications' data collection methods provide considerable access to the device’s contents. The Government’s decision to remove and block the applications was made to ensure that Government of Canada networks and data remain secure and protected and are in line with the approach of Canada’s international partners.

The University of British Columbia would like to remind its community to be vigilant and exercise discretion when using apps that can access personal information if the proper privacy settings are not available or in place. UBC IT is monitoring the constantly evolving cybersecurity landscape. As part of this, UBC’s Privacy and Information Security Management team will be conducting a review of these applications to support the UBC community. Stay informed and refer back to this page for updated guidance following the review.

If you currently use WeChat or the Kaspersky suite of applications on a UBC device or for UBC work purposes, please reach out through email to privacy.matters@ubc.ca for consideration of your use-case by the Privacy Impact Assessment team.

Learn more about how to stay secure online on UBC’s Privacy Matters website.