TikTok shares your data further than any other social media app
There are two social media apps that collect a lot of data from you- and you might not like what they do with your data. TikTok shares your data further than any other social media app more than other.
Google YouTube and TikTok
According to a recent study, which was published last month by mobile marketing company URL Genius, they found out that YouTube and TikTok track users’ personal information more than any other social media app.
YouTube which is owned by Google, collects your personal data for its own purposes- such as tracking your online search history, or your location, to help you with relevant ads. But the case with TikTok is different. TikTok is owned by Chinese tech giant Byte Dance, they allow third-party trackers to collect your information- and because of which it’s hard to say what happens with it.
It is impossible to find out who’s tracking your data or what data they’re collecting when there are third-party trackers. Details like- which posts you are interacting with, and how long you spend on each one- to your current physical location and any other personal data are collected by those third-party trackers.
The study also noted that third-party trackers can track your activity on other sites even after you leave the app.
In order to conduct the study, URL Genius used the feature called Record App Activity from Apple’s iOS to know how many different domains track a user’s activity across 10 different social media apps, which are- YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Telegram, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Messenger, and WhatsApp- over the period of one visit, before you even log into your account.
YouTube and TikTok topped the other apps with fourteen network contacts apiece, which is significantly higher than the study’s average number of six network contacts per app. The study also noted that users who are logged into accounts on those apps.
YouTube was tracking user activity for its own purposes. Ten trackers were first-party network contacts and four were from third-party domains which mean YouTube was allowing a handful of mystery outside parties to collect data and track user activity.
But for TikTok, the results were even more mysterious because 13 out of 14 network contacts were from third parties. The study also found out that the tracking still happened even when users didn’t opt into allowing tracking in each app’s settings.
“Users does not know what kind of information is shared with third-party networks, or how their information will be used”, said the report’s authors.
In October, Wired published something that helped users know how TikTok was tracking user data, including the location, search history, IP address, the video you watch, and even the time you spend watching them. According to that guide, the tech company can “infer” personal characteristics from your age range to your gender based on the other information it collects. TikTok isn’t alone in such practices, Google and other sites do the same thing which is known as “inferred demographics.”
In 2020, the President of the United States looked to ban TikTok in the U.S. over concerns about the data and security policies before current President Joe Biden walked back those threats and he ordered to review the security threats posed by foreign-owned apps.
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