No More Tik-Tok?

If you are one of the millions of users with the app ‘TikTok’, Great news! Your privacy may be at risk and Trump wants to get rid of it!

Angelique Garcia-Barajas, Op/Ed Editor

TikTok is a popular app that quickly climbed the charts, with millions of users from all around the world. If you don’t know, TikTok is a video entertainment app that allows users to make a variety of content in 15 seconds.

However, with its rising fame, came scrutiny as well. The app is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance which is the main source for privacy concerns. The connection between millions of Americans and a foreign government has made many politicians concerned about the national security of America. Although TikTok does not steal data from users’ devices, they do collect data. Of course, it’s in the user agreement when you sign up for an account, by making the account you agree to let them collect data, all in the name of a better ‘For You’ page.  The ‘For You’ page is a string of videos the app believes you may enjoy. As you use the app, the For You page gets more personalized, showing videos concerning things such as your likes, dislikes, locations, friends, and even mental states. 

A spokeswoman for TikTok,  Ashley Nash-Hahn said, “TikTok collects much less U.S. user information than many of the companies in our space and stores it in the U.S. and Singapore. We have not, and would not, give it to the Chinese government.” Based on this information TikTok collects about the same information Facebook would, under the claim to create more personalized content for you. However, collecting about the same amount of information Facebook does is not a compliment, As you may know, not too long ago, Facebook was under major fire for data breaching. 

With these risks in mind, TikTok is not allowed on government-issued phones, and President Trump signed an executive order on August 6th that will ban TikTok in the U.S. If ByteDance does not sell TikTok to an American company. Microsoft seems to be the leading buyer, If an agreement is not made by September 15th the order will go ahead. This will remove TikTok from American app stores and no longer provide updates for those who still have the app. TikTok will have to release updates and over time those unable to update the app will find that it no longer works. 

The United States government is not the only platform concerned. India has banned the app, Wells Fargo has asked employees to delete the app, and Australia was thinking about banning it as well. So, now the ball is in TikTik’s court, and the world will be watching their next move. The real question is, how will teens react if/when the app gets banned? Do we really understand the danger of our data being farmed and harbored by a foreign country?