TikTok amends terms of use: what about other apps?

TikTok amends terms of use: what about other apps?

Data resale

Van Gastel says an app like TikTok stores a lot of data. “Every time you go through the app, they store the number of seconds you watched any video. You can often infer your political or sexual preferences from that. So they can learn a lot more, all that data is stored in a specific profile.”

Having such a profile can have serious consequences, van Gasteel says. “Because such a company is reselling data. That can have consequences, because if you know the sexual preference of a politician, for example, that person can be blackmailed. Or you can use it to send misinformation better, if you tell your target group they know better.”

Do not sleep well

It is unclear what data these employees have access to. Despite numerous requests, TikTok does not want to make this clear. It also remains unclear which employees have these rights.

According to Van Gastel, users of the app are not yet in great danger, but: “You don’t know what is being done with the data. I will not sleep peacefully if all my data is stored by TikTok, because the data can leak.”

Van Gastel is also interested in other applications. In his research, he examines the privacy impact of different apps and looks at where the data ends up. For example, search a meditation app emptiness. “The data was exported directly in China. This app had access to your microphone and data from other apps on your phone, and it went directly to China.”

Should we really remove these apps from our phones immediately? “Actually yes. If it’s really necessary, buy a second phone for these kinds of apps. Or get a paper notebook to keep track of things, that works well too, of course.”

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