TikTok Collects Users’ Data! Delete It Right Now!
“TikTok is spying on internet users.” This accusation was made by one of the users of the internet forum Reddit. A software engineer under the nickname Bangorlol has researched the popular app. Now he claims to have gained an almost complete understanding of how TikTok “spies” on bloggers.
According to the law, this is a case of invasion of privacy. We’ve prepared the article under this topic previously. Read The Best Way To Protect Yourself From Invasion Of Privacy to prevent your data from leaking.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company “ByteDance”. The app is included in the list of the fastest growing apps in the mobile market. In 2019, TikTok’s revenue was $3 billion.
At the same time, the number of active users of the service exceeded 800 million people, which made TikTok the sixth most popular social network in the world. About 70% of the service’s audience is young people between the ages of 13 and 24.
In June 2020, it became known that the European Data Protection Committee initiated a review because TikTok collects users’ data. The reason for the check was the appeal of one of the MEPs.
After that, the Indian government has banned TikTok and more than 50 Chinese apps. Authorities said they’ve received numerous reports of these services’ usage experience “to steal and secretly transfer users’ data to servers located outside of India.”
At the same time, several American public organizations have complained to the Federal Trade Commission about TikTok, accusing it of refusing to remove all video materials with children under 13 years of age.
TikTok collects users’ data: what’s the matter?
Previously, Forbes has already written about cases of spying on TikTok users. However, it was about the owners of iPhones. Now it has become known that surveillance is carried out for all users, regardless of gender, age, or model of the used gadget.
According to Bangorlol (one of the authors on Reddit), the service collects a vast amount of personal data. This is unacceptable because the main audience of the app is underage users. Moreover, the collected information is not necessary for the stable functioning of the social network.
“TikTok is a service for collecting information disguised as a social network.” Bangorlol concluded.
According to him, the app is essentially a virus that attacks minors. The scale of data collection by giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter does not compare with the surveillance of TikTok.
The list of what the social network gets access to:
– your address, name, passwords, phone number;
– the information of other apps on your phone, even those that are deleted;
– what you googled and searched for in the browser;
– your location every 30 seconds.
Also, it knows data about the gadget’s hardware parameters, including the processor type, other installed applications, and information about the network and IP. In some cases, the geolocation of the smartphone owner.
The app configures a local proxy server on the mobile device to “transcode media”, which can be very easily abused since it does not have authentication. All collected data on the device is managed remotely, which makes reverse engineering more difficult.
Besides, Bangorlol has advised against using this social network and recommended banning children from downloading it.