Just in case you weren’t already concerned about your personal data, there are red flags being thrown, saying China might be collecting and storing information on users of the app, TikTok.
TikTok is an application—used mostly by teens, according to ABC News—that lets users create and share videos. Recently, the app— owned by ByteDance, which is based in Beijing—has grown in popularity with American users, but where is all that American data going?
The concern lies in the fact that American users are feeding information to a Chinese-based company, even though its headquarters are in California. However, some believe that TikTok is sharing U.S. date with China’s Communist Party.
A TikTok representative did reply to the raised concerns, claiming to “remain committed to working productively with Congress as it looks at how to secure the data of American users, protect their privacy, promote free expression, ensure competition and choice among internet platforms, and preserve U.S. national security interests.”
According to ABC News, a source from the company said all U.S. users of TikTok have their data stored in the United States, while the backup redundancy is held in Singapore. TikTok reportedly said all their data centers are stored outside of China and none of it is subject to foreign government, including Chinese law.
Unfortunately, Apple never made any comment about its collaboration with the company, other than saying it has encryption key control to data stored on iCloud.
Hawley stated, “I would say that doesn’t necessarily mean that the communist government doesn’t have access to the data,” he said. “I don’t know that it matters where the data is stored for that kind of a company. I think you’ve got to assume that there is a backdoor way into that data.