There has been A LOT of conversation around the safety of TikTok lately and its ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance. So much so that U.S. Governments have started banning the app from their devices and Universities have blocked it on their wifi networks.
And truth be told… I was going to try and avoid talking about it because I’m just not educated enough on it. And that’s my disclaimer for this episode… I am not a privacy, data, political, technological, cyber security, or any other type of expert when it comes to these types of matters.
But, it did come up in conversation in the Lounge and anytime someone starts asking me questions about something so specific… I know others are probably wondering about it too.
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Why Are People Concerned About TikTok Data Collection
Now, if you‘re not familiar with the privacy concerns and the conversations that have been going on between the U.S. and TikTok’s US corporation, I’ll stick some links in the show notes for you to dive deeper.
The VERY short story is, people are concerned that China is using TikTok to spy on everyone else… and India has already banned the app. This is a conversation that’s been going on for a while, it just happens to be re-heating up right now.
When I first started hearing about this I thought, damn… that’s some tinfoil hat stuff – and in the same breath I also thought – it’s probably true.
There’s little that surprises me these days, especially when it comes to any platforms that have so much data about us.
Ultimately… Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben said it best. With great power comes great responsibility but we would all be fools to think any of these big corporate data-collecting entities actually cared about us and took that responsibility as seriously as it should.
Should You Be Concerned?
So, should you be concerned? The only one that can answer that for you, is you.
Ultimately I say, do what you are comfortable with.
If TikTok is a hard no for you, then let it be a hard no. Take advantage of short-form video on Instagram or YouTube instead.
If you’re seeing a lot of success with TikTok and don’t want to stop using it, or you want to try and ride the wave for as long as you can… do you.
No matter which direction you go there are a million others who feel the same way.
The most important thing is that you understand the data that is being collected, what is being done with it, and the possibilities should it get into unintended hands. Use the same caution you would on any public forum.
Again, make sure you check the show notes for links to additional resources if you want to learn more, including that internal TikTok boost button I briefly mentioned earlier.