The move to remove the video-sharing app TikTok has started to spread as several provinces and municipal governments are following suit in the wake of Canada announcing the app's ban on government-issued mobile devices.

According to Ryan Westman, the senior manager of threat intelligence at Waterloo-based cybersecurity company eSentire, user data harvested through the app could lead to a security or privacy threat.

“Some would consider it spyware given its capabilities to collect information on your mobile device,” Westman said.

Canada’s move to remove TikTok from government-issued mobile devices based on security concerns has prompted other provinces like Nova Scotia, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan to follow suit.

The Waterloo region tri-cities, along with the City of Guelph, have all said they are reviewing policies in place surrounding the app.

These reviews come ahead of any decision made by the province of Ontario to review its policies.

“TikTok is capable of device mapping, location tracking, calendar tracking, contact list and device information,” Westman said.

TikTok is owned by China-based tech giant ByteDance

“Businesses like ByteDance in China are required to work with their intelligence agency to provide support, so that means all the data that TikTok collects could be very well being shared with their intelligence agency,” said Westman.

He said for this reason eSentire has never allowed the app to be downloaded on their corporate devices.

Technology expert Marc Saltzman had a similar sentiment about the app and its security concerns.

Saltzman recommends deleting the app altogether, but if you do want to keep it, limit the information you’re sharing on the app.

“Data is the currency,” he added.

“It’s a very sticky app, more so than Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and even YouTube,” said Saltzman

According to Saltzman, over seven million Canadians use TikTok, many on average for an hour and a half a day.

He said while the federal ban does not apply to personal devices, he’s urging all users to use caution.

“It's about the privacy that we’re giving up without knowing it, we’re not lawyers most of us, and we’re blindly accepting those terms and conditions,” he added.