Tiktok has become the most popular social media platform. There are more users on TikTok than there are on Facebook. The app is for all ages, but is mostly used by teenagers. Users can create short videos of dance challenges, lip syncing and comedy. As kid friendly as it seems to be, is the app actually safe for its users?
Not many people know this, but TikTok is a Chinese social networking service owned by ByteDance. Zhang Yiming founded this Beijing-based company in 2012. Chinese Communist party members in leadership also own the app. It is a requirement under Chinese law to share user data with Beijing.
Due to the law requirement, Tiktok themselves have admitted to sending user data to Beijing. Some users might not see this as a problem, but others feel this is a major security risk for the American people.
“We collect information about the device you use to access the Platform, including your IP address, unique device identifiers, model of your device, your mobile carrier, time zone setting, screen resolution, operating system, app and file names and types” in a statement made by TikTok.
There is so much more information that they are taking from users phones like images, information about the messages that users send, the other apps that users have on their phone, the cites that they visit, the search history, and it stores all of this and maybe even more.
According to The Washington Post, “the U.S. Army banned TikTok on military devices, signaling growing concern about app’s Chinese roots.” The Pentagon, the Department or State, the Department of Home lance Security, and the TSA all banned their employees and service members from using TikTok on both their government and personal devices.
They have even told their employees and service members that their families can not use the app. Legislation was put into action to ban all federal employees from using TikTok on all government devices.
The true question to ask that should be asked is how do the users feel about TikTok. One user who was fully aware of this information made a video about it. She talked about the information that is being taken from user’s phones and how it is not safe but people still use it. Not only was her video deleted, but her page is not there anymore.
Some users when they found out about the app giving out this kind of information, they did not like that so much.
“I don’t think that is legal. How can they do something like that?” one user stated.
Some users have even deleted their pages when they found out about this information. They stated how this must be some kind of violation to their personal information, well at least it felt like that for them.
Of course, there are the people who were not surprised by this information when they found out. It did not change their perspective of the app at all.
“The government is monitoring us, so what is the difference when they do it and when TikTok does it,” stated by a Tiktok user.
Like any other social media platform, Tiktok has become not only popular, but somewhat addictive in a way. It may be hard for a user to just walk away from the app. Whether it be a security risk or not, the decision on whether or not to continue using it is completely up to the user.