TikTok And It’s Privacy Issues


The thing most of us browse through before the day kicks off and during the day in the middle of work and before going to bed.

The thing most of us browse through before the day kicks off and during the day in the middle of work and before going to bed. The reason why most of the active users spend hours making TikTok videos and while even looking silly in front of the camera in the making. But, how much do you know of this app that has taken many by surprise? According to the news sources at Bloomberg, TikTok has amassed revenue of $7.4 billion in 2018 and $17 billion in 2019, downloaded over 2 billion times and is now at war with the major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Recently, kicked out of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store due to user privacy issues then added to Samsung’s Galaxy Store. And even governments are going after it for many reasons including the invasion of people’s privacy. TikTok, like Youtube, was also charged and fined for the violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). There’s just a lot to unpack here but let’s see a few details.

TikTok is a video-sharing social media platform that uses AI-powered interface technologies to study and understand user preferences and display full-screen videos as you swipe up your screen. So, if you want to know why you are hooked on TikTok for hours it’s their machine-learning artificial intelligence that studies you and just keeps feeding you. Unlike Instagram and Facebook, where you have preferences, starting from the beginning you are forced to see what you didn’t choose to see or follow. TikTok lives on the servers in Singapore.

In September of 2016, the Chinese company ByteDance released a short video-sharing application named Douyin to the Chinese market. A video-sharing social networking platform of contents 3 to 60 seconds long, which can only be downloaded in China. In November 2017, after ByteDance acquired Musical. ly, which in the year 2016 was a social media service that had a lip-sync video-sharing app with over 90 million user-base, for $1 billion and merged to became TikTok. Later in August 2018, TikTok became available to the world for both Android and iOS devices.

Last year, the FTC, Federal Trade Commission, of the USA government filed a complaint against the operators of TikTok for declining to seek parental control whilst knowing that children were using their app and collecting user’s private information. This is very great of the FTC to have the get on the case of caring for its citizen’s privacy. I honestly think this should also be the case in our county too. We also do have names, email addresses, and other private information on servers of other countries like China and the USA. Which we mostly don’t know the purpose of. And in my opinion, if the FTC is concerned I think our government should too. Don’t you think?

So, why are people still using it? Shouldn’t we be alarmed to stop consuming the contents from the app? Let me leave the answer to the latter question to you and head on to the first question. There are several reasons why people, mostly influencers, are still crazy about TikTok. Some of those can be to make revenue, to go viral and be known overnight, and entertainment. TikTok users are now making revenues by collecting donations from viewers when going live, selling growing accounts, TikTok ads for brands and services, and more.

TikTok makes its revenue from ads, stickers, and emojis sales (Virtual Items), and probably by selling users information. This is what TikTok’s privacy policy page states: “We are committed to maintaining your trust, and while TikTok does not sell personal information to third parties, we want you to understand when and with whom we may share the information we collect for business purposes.”

Last month, the Indian government banned the TikTok app with an order from the Indian Ministry of Information and Technology. Following this, it was also removed from both major application stores, App Store, and Play Store; which is a major concern for the parent company ByteDance. ByteDance not only suffers from its privacy policy issues but also its issues seem to be political too. That is why the major countries which are constantly putting TikTok under pressure are the USA and India. Both are historically political rivals to China.

In conclusion, if you are using TikTok and are making revenue or even just having fun with it, let us know what you think is a concern to you. Could TikTok replace Instagram? Or will Instagram push back with its TikTok competitor app in on testing Brasil? Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur & media mogul, once said TikTok may or may not, but is at enough scale and is young enough, to do to Instagram what Instagram did to Facebook.

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