TikTok users receive warning of excessive and alarming data harvesting by the app
Users of the social media platform TikTok were alerted to the site’s “excessive” data collection this week. The cyber security company claimed in a study on Internet 2.0 that the application had a significant “security issue” that was about to occur. According to the company’s assessment dated July 18, the platform has connections to Chinese parties and ISPs, which makes it a somewhat “susceptible data source” that is still under examination. Additionally, it described how user data and “data harvesting, tracking and fingerprinting” happen throughout the site.
The organization identified the kind of data TikTok was collecting by examining the source code of the Android version of the app. Additionally, an effort was made to determine the precise destination of the information. A specific section of code revealed how the program allegedly collected the phone’s IMEI information. In essence, it recognizes the devices and indicates whether TikTok and any other applications on them were reinstalled. Furthermore, according to Internet 2.0, 37 percent of the known IP addresses on TikTok have a suspected connection to Alibaba. In November 2019, a security flaw affected this internet service in Hangzhou. In particular, this saw a software developer gather more than 1.1 billion pieces of user data.
After the report’s publication, Robert Potter, the company’s co-chief executive, posted on Twitter. He explained how TikTok received all of the information done for it for verification and feedback on the problem. He pointed out that the platform had declined to capture information about their Chinese-based infrastructure. Additionally, a social media network spokeswoman claimed that Internet 2.0 had used the name of the program to make “baseless allegations.” He continued by arguing that TikTok does not collect any more information than other social media platforms in a singular way. The announcement mentioned how TikTok user data is stored in the US and Singapore. They also talked about TikTok’s “clear and loud” position on using access controls like encryption and security tracking to protect user data.
Finally, they specified how network traffic is contained within “the region” and how TikTok IP addresses are maintained in Singapore. They said that any link or connection of this kind to China is “categorically wrong.”