China has access to your TikTok data, app confirms | Cybersecurity news

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TikTok — should you delete it? This week, the company announced that its China-based team can access TikTok user data, even if the users are based in the US and the EU. What does that mean for your TikTok data security? Watch the video to find out.


00:00 Intro
00:11 Privacy policy change
00:36 The US TikTok user data accessed from China
01:09 Mistrust of TikTok in the West


TikTok staff in China CAN actually access your data, even if you’re based in the EU or the US. Last week, the video-sharing platform announced an upcoming privacy policy change for Europe. It names CHINA as one of the countries that can access TikTok’s user data for the first time.

And while all social media apps collect data, not all of them are tied to authoritarian surveillance states.

This isn’t exactly a surprise. Despite TikTok’s assurance that US and EU users’ data is stored outside of China and therefore not subject to Chinese law, a BuzzFeed investigation revealed that US user data has already been repeatedly accessed from China.

Mistrust towards the company is coming to a boiling point in the West. A few weeks back, a report by Forbes revealed that TikTok’s China-based team had planned to use the app to monitor the personal location of specific American citizens.

Currently, EU authorities are investigating whether TikTok’s data transfers meet GDPR requirements. And two years after Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the US, the issue seems to be back on the table. “I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” said Brendan Carr, a commissioner at the FCC.

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The app has already been banned in India along with dozens of other Chinese apps. The ban was due to the user data collection “by elements hostile to national security and defense of India.”

Some cybersecurity experts are concerned with the intrusive data collection and its ties to a mass surveillance state. Others worry about political manipulation on the platform by the authorities in Beijing.

What do you think? Is TikTok just like any other social media platform, or do its ties to an authoritarian surveillance state make a difference?


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