Tiktok is one of the most used apps in the world. With over a billion downloads on Play store alone have proven how much people love using Tiktok. I am sure you too have spent plenty of time browsing Tiktok videos and taking part in Tiktok challenges. But is Tiktok really as safe as we think?
For those who don’t know, Tiktok’s biggest source of income is your data. Yes, you read that right. Tiktok is selling your data to companies in order for them to research and sell products/services accordingly. Now Tiktok isn’t the only company that sells user data. Basically, all free web services like Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. sell your data to third parties.
It is Rightfully said: If you are using something for free you are the product.
So How Does Tiktok Share Your Information And Is It Really Stealing Your Data?
Tiktok sells the data you generate on their platform to different parties who are willing to buy it. The answer to the second question is no. Tiktok is not stealing your data because when you made your Tiktok account you gave Tiktok the permission to collect and sell your data. When you make your Tiktok account you agree to its terms and conditions which state that they can sell and use your data.
The following parties can get access to your Tiktok data:
- Tiktok can share your data with third party companies which in turn can use this data for market research and better insights.
- Tiktok can share the data with its business partners & corporate groups.
- Tiktok holds rights to give your account details to legal & government agencies in case such situation arises.
- Tiktok gives advertisers reports about their ads and data about who viewed/clicked their ads as well as how they performed overall.
Source: Tiktok terms and conditions
So, What About Our Right To Privacy? Can Tiktok Sell Our Data Just Like That?
Late last year, Tiktok was accused of illegally stealing information from users and sending it to China, where the app’s parent company, Byte Dance, is based.
This led to a huge controversy in the United States where the US Govt decided to verify if Tiktok was really sending data to China.
“We collect information when you create an account and use the platform,”
“We also collect the information you share with us from third-party social network providers and technical and behavioural information about your use of the platform. We also collect information contained in the messages you send through our platform and information from your phone book if you grant us access to your phone book on your mobile device.”
So not only does Tiktok collect information provided by a user when he or she creates an account on the app (Data such as name, age, email, and phone number). It also collects data taken from your devices such as your contacts and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram etc. if the user chooses to link Tiktok with other platforms.
That’s a lot of Data if you think about it. But then again, it’s the same with companies such as Facebook and Google. They didn’t become billion-dollar companies just like that either.
So, What Does It Mean For Us And Our Privacy?
So pretty much every social media we are using is mining our data. What can we do short or throwing your phone out the window? Just kidding don’t do that.
The sad fact is when we use social media, we are pretty much giving our data in exchange for letting us these social media platforms. So, if you really are worried about your privacy and data you should stop using social media all together. If you are okay with your data being used for ads and other marketing and research purposes then feel free to use Tiktok to your hearts content.