TikTok - Ten Minutes Of Risk
WHAT IS TIKTOK?
TikTok is a short-form video hosting service that hosts user-submitted videos, which can range in duration from 3 seconds to 10 minutes.
Most users now accept that all the apps on our phones track us somehow.
TikTok's data collection techniques are particularly dystopian.
TikTok can actively watch what you write in messages to friends, even if you never hit the send button.
It also requests access to your phone's model, screen resolution, current OS, phone number, email address, location, keystroke patterns, and even contact lists.
None of that seems important if you just want to watch 15-second clips.
It's no exaggeration to say that TikTok is a danger to your privacy.
TikTok has been the target of cyberattacks in the past, with hackers accessing sensitive user information such as passwords and phone numbers. Many security researchers have found security vulnerabilities in the TikTok app.
They range from hackers using SMS messages to gain unauthorized access to accounts, through to issues surrounding the use of HTTP and HTTPS when delivering videos.
The platform, developed with homegrown Chinese technology, isn't accessible in China. In fact, it never existed there.
As of January 2023, TikTok is reportedly banned in several Asian countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Syria.
In February 2023, the Canadian government banned TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices.
In February 2023, the European Commission and European Council banned TikTok from official devices.
In March 2023, Belgium banned TikTok from all federal government work devices over cybersecurity, privacy, and misinformation concerns.
In March 2023, Denmark's Ministry of Defence banned TikTok on work devices.
In March 2023, the UK government announced that TikTok would be banned on electronic devices used by ministers and other employees, amid security concerns relating to the app's handling of user data. The same month, the BBC told all employees to delete TikTok off their devices unless the app was being used for work purposes. The network is also reportedly considering a ban on the app.
By 7 March 2023, 68 Australian federal agencies had banned TikTok on work-related mobile devices. Liberal Party Senator James Paterson called for a federal ban on all government-related devices. In April, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan banned TikTok from government phones.
On 17 March 2023, the New Zealand Parliamentary Service banned TikTok on devices connected to Parliament, citing cybersecurity concerns.
ByteDance owns TikTok. This Chinese tech company has achieved its aspirations of being as big as some of its competitors, such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu.
ByteDance is based in Beijing, China, and has offices all over the world.
Zhang Yiming is the owner and founder of ByteDance.