TikTok App Prohibited

Doyinsola Johnson

The popular TikTok app owned by the Chinese company Bytedance is said to be shutting down in numerous countries as of now already shut down in India.

The concerns are threefold. Because TikTokโ€™s parent company ByteDance is based in China there are fears the company may share user data with the Chinese government, whether intentionally through data requests or unintentionally through surveillance software.

There are general privacy concerns about how much data TikTok collects from user devices. โ€œThe fear is that the information in TikTok could provide more details than intended about peopleโ€™s whereabouts or what they are up to,โ€ said Chris Morales, head of security analytics at the cybersecurity firm Vertca. โ€œYou could in theory track someone to a location, such as a military base or government installation.โ€

The app, with over 800 million users is set to be banned in the U.S.A over the next few weeks due to ongoing rivalry between the 2 countries.

Wells Fargo on Monday announced it would require its employees to uninstall TikTok. Amazon told employees to do the same last week, but walked back that decision claiming the instructions were sent in error.

Indiaโ€™s government banned TikTok and 50 other China-based apps in June, calling them a โ€œthreat to sovereignty and integrityโ€. Last week, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said the Trump administration was โ€œlooking atโ€ banning the app in the US, citing similar reasons.

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