Is Tik Tok Stealing Our Information?



Tik Tok is currently the most popular entertainment platform among young people with over 800 million active users, the majority of which aged 16-24. The app has had immense success and was the most downloaded app of 2019. In spite of all the traction this app has gained, there have been numerous privacy concerns regarding the app “stealing” users’ information. 

In late 2019, accusations surfaced about the entertainment app sending users information to Tik Tok’s parent company ByteDance, located in China.  Multiple investigations were done and security flaws were discovered that could possibly make users private information easily accessible to hackers. As a result of these investigations Tik Tok announced an updated privacy policy at the first of the year. In their policy they state they collect information when users create an account and use it. This information includes data shared with the app from third-party social network providers, and technical and behavioral information about use of the app. They also made it clear that they cannot collect information from the user if they do not allow access to it. 

The controversy has raised many questions on the safety of the app and whether or not people should continue to use it. The ideas are mixed, some people believe things as serious as Tik Tok being a threat to national security, others don’t have a problem with Tik Tok harvesting their data. Here is what self proclaimed Tik Tok addict Ashleigh Nicolson has to say.   

“I am not very concerned with Tik Tok stealing my information. As far as I know, they do not know any sensitive information about me. I also do not have a problem with them analyzing my usage of the app.” 

This seems to be a common mindset among the younger generation who grew up immersed in social media and the internet. They are so used to technology in their lives that the idea of using their information does not seem so scary. On the other hand, people above 35 have expressed the most concern for the safety of the App.

Another Tik Tok user that’s over the age of 35, Becky Ernstberger says, “I think it’s definitely a safety hazard- I don’t want them harvesting my information, but in this day and age young people are too trusting.”

All in all, the safety of the app is questionable, but that has not stopped hundreds of millions of people from using and enjoying it regularly.