Is TikTok Secure?


(Photo/Aaron Weiss/Unsplash)

Natasha Ray, Features Editor

During quarantine, many PDS students find themselves spending endless hours on the social media platform, TikTok. However, recently there have been widespread concerns about its privacy. Rumors have been circulating on the internet, but it is not clear if there is a true concern for the security of the users. These rumors are a result of the US Navy banning TikTok because they believe it is a cybersecurity threat on government phones. Junior Jenny Zhang remarked that she’s “not sure if TikTok is that secure because it knows where she lives.” However, she also noted that she would “still use it because [she] is, for lack of a better word, addicted, and that all data isn’t safe: no matter what app you use, being on a phone overall is slightly dangerous in terms of privacy.” 

Junior Skye Harris holds a similar viewpoint: “I don’t know if Tiktok is necessarily safe, but I don’t know enough about its privacy policy to make a decision on whether using it or not is harmful.” Junior Hannah Choe astutely observed that “TikTok seems to be taking up a lot of space on my phone, almost in a suspicious way. I’m not sure if it’s safe privacy wise, but it is not safe for my self esteem.” Sophomore Japna Singh said, “I have heard about how TikTok tracks your data, but I don’t know how accurate that information was. If TikTok was unsafe I wouldn’t use it as I don’t want my data to be used maliciously.” 

Evidently, there is a lot of confusion about the true safety of TikTok. In efforts to dispel any rumors and provide clarity, some data has been found to help students form their own opinions about the app’s privacy. It has been found that Tiktok’s security measures are inadequate, and researchers were able to access user data like birthdates and names. Also, in February 2020, the Federal Trade Commission filed complaints against TikTok for collecting data from minors without parental consent. Thus, it is understandable for users of the PDS community to be concerned about their security, for there is proof that is in jeopardy.