Is TikTok Stealing Our Personal Information?

A picture of the commonly used app TikTok.


A picture of the commonly used app TikTok.

Avneet Gil, Staff Writer

We all know how TikTok is a very commonly used app. Almost everyone you know most likely has the app installed on their phone. But lately, there have been allegations made that TikTok might possibly be stealing its users’ personal data. I personally think that there is no possible way that personal data can be stolen since it has been around for a while, and they ask for permission for the data they collect.

The first reason would be how TikTok asks permission before asking for personal data. For example, there is a feature that allows TikTok to access the user’s contacts in order to find people that the user might know on TikTok to help the user better connect with them.

When the option for “finding your contacts” is asked to the user, the user has a choice to give permission to TikTok to find their contacts. TikTok would not be “stealing” personal information from a user if they are asking permission from the user. This is a personal choice of the user to give out this information.

TikTok might also collect your browsing history and see how you interact with different types of videos. However, they don’t do this to collect your personal information. This is done to find videos that the user might enjoy interacting with more.  And to help the user enjoy their experience on the app better. This means TikTok does not collect browsing history to gather personal information from the user.

Another reason people might believe that TikTok is stealing personal data would be how TikTok asks for the user’s age while signing up. When signing up, one of the requirements is to put in your age. The reason TikTok does this is to help put out videos of creators around the same age on the users for you page. The reason for this is that TikTok thinks that the user might prefer people around their age on their fyp instead of other people. This is done to help the user find videos they find interesting. 

I think that TikTok is not stealing personal data from the users and selling it to people in China. Most of the personal information users give out to TikTok is asked with permission from it. That personal information collected is used to benefit the user’s experience on the app. I think TikTok is a safe app that people can trust with their information. Though people should not give out a lot of their personal information. So no, TikTok is not “stealing” personal information for users.