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What the Tech? Banning TikTok

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A popular app has grabbed the attention of national security officials who are reportedly considering banning it in the U.S.

Members of the Trump administration are pushing to block Tik-Tok, claiming it's a national security risk.

Nearly 40 million people in the United States regularly browse TikTok videos, the most recent study finds 90% of active users watch videos daily. Some spend hours on the app every day. It looks like harmless fun, so why the concern about TikTok?

The app is from China, run by a data collecting company called ByteDance. But it isn't available in China. Which raises concern and more suspicions of just what the parent company is up to.

India banned the app last week.

In this country, the Department of Defense, the U.S Navy and the Army have all urged employees to delete the app from their phones.

According to TikTok's Privacy Policy, the app collects email addresses and phone numbers, social media accounts and profile photo. In addition, it collects contacts on your phone and social media accounts. It tracks your location using GPS, and tracks websites you visit.

That's no different than other social media networks like Facebook. The concern is what ByteDance does with the data. Since the company is based in China, there's suspicion that it shares the data with the Chinese government.

The appetite for video in byte-sized clips is huge. Vine was the first app to find success with user generated video clips, turning some users into celebrities.

Facebook is launching its own TikTok alternative called Collab. Byte is another competitor, created by the same guys who released Vine. Will one of these apps take the place of TikTok? We may soon find out.

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Summary | 7 Annotations
What the Tech? Banning TikTok
2020/07/08 22:28
Members of the Trump administration are pushing to block Tik-Tok, claiming it's a national security risk.
2020/07/08 22:29
The app is from China, run by a data collecting company called ByteDance. But it isn't available in China. Which raises concern and more suspicions of just what the parent company is up to.
2020/07/08 22:29
According to TikTok's Privacy Policy, the app collects email addresses and phone numbers, social media accounts and profile photo.
2020/07/08 22:29
It tracks your location using GPS, and tracks websites you visit.
2020/07/08 22:29
The concern is what ByteDance does with the data. Since the company is based in China, there's suspicion that it shares the data with the Chinese government.
2020/07/08 22:29
Facebook is launching its own TikTok alternative called Collab. Byte is another competitor, created by the same guys who released Vine.
2020/07/08 22:29