Posted on 07-02-2020.
Recently, the news broke that TikTok, a popular Chinese online platform and mobile app for sharing short-form mobile videos, collects user personal data in an amount unusual for a social media app. The issue was raised by redditor bangorlol who claimed to have reverse-engineered the TikTok app and analyzed how it operates. According to bangorlol’s findings, TikTok is essentially a data collection service masqueraded as a social network. “If there is an API [Application Programming Interface] to get information on you, your contacts, or your device... well, they're using it,” they said.
“The scariest part of all of this is that much of the logging they're doing is remotely configurable and unless you reverse every single one of their native libraries and manually inspect every single obfuscated function. They have several different protections in place to prevent you from reversing or debugging the app as well. App behavior changes slightly if they know you're trying to figure out what they're doing.”For a long period of time, TikTok also did not use the secure HTTPS protocol, so user data—such as their email address and secondary email addresses used for password resets, real names, and birth dates—could be leaked and viewed by third parties.
“The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and IoS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”In the meantime, TikTok continues to enjoy great popularity, with 800 million monthly active users out of 3.81 billion social media users globally, who represent 49% of the world’s total population. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important.