WeChat and Kaspersky pose major risks to privacy and security

Information Technology
Computer software and applications
fishing line out of a smartphone screen hooking an image representing personal info
The Government of Canada has recently banned the Chinese chat social network WeChat and the Russian antivirus Kaspersky from its corporate mobile devices. The University of Ottawa strongly recommends removing these apps from any mobile device you use.

Although the University of Ottawa does not prohibit these two applications on the mobile devices provided to its community, data protection and cybersecurity are at the forefront of its concerns, both from a personal and professional perspective. In this regard, the University urges its community to weigh the risks associated with the privacy policies of these two applications and their impact on the security of your data.

If you are using your personal mobile device, make sure to be well informed about what WeChat and Kaspersky do with information such as your name, email address, phone number, keystroke patterns, etc. The risk of identity theft is significant. On the other hand, when using a mobile device provided by the university, it is crucial to protect the information of the community: from student identities to research data, to sensitive information in chats and other documents. It is important to note that even if you do not necessarily share information with one of these applications, they may potentially access it without your knowledge.

Information Technology and the Access to Information and Privacy Office are taking a deliberately careful approach, which we will continue to reassess as we monitor the constantly evolving cybersecurity considerations. For more details, please visit Information Technology website