Does TikTok Steal Your Data?
Updated: Nov 4
Social media darling TikTok is back in the news again. You may remember President Trump’s public fight with the company in 2020 due to its ties to the Chinese government, and a class action lawsuit in 2021 over alleged theft of personal data. Part of TikTok’s response to these concerns has been a promise to keep personal information of US users on servers based in the US. But recently leaked documents seem to imply that this promise is not entirely fulfilled, and Chinese engineers working for its parent company can still access sensitive information on American users. As lowly users, it’s hard to know who to believe when the lawyers and PR folks start blasting out claims. But the takeaway should be that anything we do online can be tracked and used for purposes we may not agree with. As I age, I feel myself acting more curmudgeonly: I haven’t created a new social media account in years, and have no plans to start sharing pictures of myself with strangers.