TikTok has exploded in popularity in the past few years. It lets users share 15 second videos that people use to create lip synching, editing & routine comedy videos. With its rapid expansion, its potential to compromise user’s privacy is also multiplying day by day.
A reddit user named bangorlol claims to have reverse engineered the app. And what he found was alarming. The Chinese based app collects data that is being sent to Chinese servers backed by Tencent & Alibaba. He says that it was not easy to reverse engineer the app. It is relatable since TikTok goes a long way to ensure that it cannot be done. Of course when your annual profit from the app is $3 billion, you would leave no stone unturned to make it stay that way!
Following Facebook & Instagram’s data issues, it is no wonder that a similar ongoing has been spotted with TikTok which was the 4th most popular free app download in 2019.
Image credits: Marco Verch
The way we share data today, makes bangorlol think that as a society we have really lowered our standards & expectations, when it comes to data privacy. Most of us simply agree with the Terms & Conditions parts of apps because “What have we got to hide?”
But the way TikTok has been harvesting this data, speaks volumes about how turning a blind eye to this problem is simply not the solution anymore. TikTok is equivalent to malware, if not more evil. It is no wonder that governments over the world have been trying to ban it. bangorlol recommends never using the app again, citing its data sharing & tracking features. But not everyone seems to agree with him.