China’s TikTok Caught Stealing User Data and Mining People’s Personal Info

China's TikTok Caught Stealing User Data and Mining People's Personal Info

( – TikTok’s simple premise — to allow users to post 60-second video shorts — is unassuming. Yet despite its simplicity, the platform remains one of the most popular social media sites in the world.

The video-sharing service is based in China, a fact that contributes to frequent controversy over the way they handle data. The most recent concern, however, comes after TikTok’s release of an updated privacy policy on June 2, 2021.

The newly issued document now allows the app to store biometric information. This includes algorithmic identification of face and body attributes, location, and other private information. Their ability to hold on to such intimate and personal datea has many wondering if the site is even truly secure.

The company did say it will comply with all applicable US laws. But a willingness to comply with the law isn’t necessarily enough, nor does it mean you should feel confident that your data is safe.

The reality is that only a few US states have biometric privacy laws as of June 2021 and they rarely go far enough to constitute full protection. If users aren’t lucky enough to live in a state with strict legislation, there isn’t anything stopping the platform from collecting, storing, or using biometrics in any way it sees fit.

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