Concerns of national security see the app removed from US app stores
Discussions about banning the social media app TikTok emerged in the later part of 2020, citing security concerns. TikTok is a Chinese based app used by millions around the world and gained fast popularity in the states. Now, however, it’s on the way out, set to be banned from app stores in the United States. The app is officially set to be banned on November 12th, 2020.
This sets a precedent and means quite a few things. The primary reason is to combat perceived cybersecurity threats, mainly against China and privacy theft.
What is China doing with the data?
The debacle started on the basis that TikTok is used to steal/store personal user information. To a degree, this is true. TikTok is an enormous social media platform that’s existed for years, and on it, users have posted numerous types of data and personal info. Even tidbits of videos show various things about the person(s) involved, such as their race, gender, age, and even location.
It isn’t so much the data is getting stolen since users are willingly broadcasting it. But, it’s that TikTok is primarily owned by a Chinese company ByteDance which has raised concerns.
What that means is information relating to TikTok accounts is stored in the Chinese company’s database. As with data collection of nature, there is no stated use of what will become of the information outside of “storage.” However, given that there are no regulations impacting how this info is stored (much less how general user data is handled in the US), suggesting it’s “safe” is a misnomer.
There are the usual suspects when it comes to data storage and the dangers it presents, regardless if the company handles it with benign intent. If said business or any of its outliers are compromised, so too is the customer data.
Is TikTok geting bought out?
There have been several bids to purchase an American version of TikTok which would host all US-specific data and preserve its service. As of now, no official deal has yet been reached. Given the scope of TikTok, though, there is likely to be a future agreement.
If you make use of the app, consider shifting away from the social media platform.
For more information on good cybersecurity and IT practices, contact Bytagig today.