If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know what TikTok is. If you haven’t, here is a brief rundown. TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows users to create and share short-form videos on any topic. It’s mainly mobile-based, although you can also watch TikTok videos using the web app. The platform allows users to get creative with their content using filters, stickers, voiceovers, sound effects, and background music. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance.
Recently, China has accused the US of exaggerating national security fears about the platform in order to suppress the Chinese company, while the UK Government is set to review TikTok in a move that could prefigure a ban on the app on government devices. Governments worldwide have concerns, particularly in regards to online safety and cybersecurity.
Data Collection and Privacy Concerns
TikTok has been criticized for collecting vast amounts of user data, including device information, location data, and browsing history. There have been concerns that the app could be sharing this data with the Chinese government, as TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is based in China.
Malware and Security Vulnerabilities
TikTok has had several security vulnerabilities and malware issues that could potentially allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to user data. For example, in early 2020, researchers discovered a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to take control of a user’s account and manipulate their videos.
Inappropriate Content and Predators
TikTok has been criticized for allowing inappropriate content, such as sexual content and extremist propaganda. Additionally, there have been concerns that the app could be used by predators to target children and young adults.
TikTok has been associated with cyberbullying and harassment, with users able to anonymously comment on and share content.
Censorship and Political Influence
There have been concerns that TikTok could be censoring content that is critical of the Chinese government, or promoting content that supports its interests. Additionally, there have been concerns that the app could be used to influence political opinions and elections.
Overall, while TikTok has taken steps to address these concerns, users should still be cautious about the data they share on the app and be aware of potential security risks.
If you would like any advice as to the appropriate use of the platform from a business perspective, please contact us.
Author: Lisa Seltzer, Agilient Consultant