Does TikTok Really Pose a Risk to US National Security?
Hank Shaw. He's the senior manager on the security solutions team for the cybersecurity company lookout I asked him whether he thinks Tiktok is actually threat and how it compares to other Social Media Apps when it comes to your privacy, is it really that much different from what's being collected from other social media? In reality no these APPs we give them access to lot and we accept that right. There is this kind of level of access that we all except when it comes to our lives on on the Internet. The difference he says is tick talks parent company by dance, any access, the Chinese, Communist Party, which you'll hear them referred to as C. C. P. May get your data. The core of the concern is who owns it? It's it's the fact. That it's a Chinese own company in that the CDC has demonstrated certain data usage tactics that don't fly in the United States, and that's why the center this whole debate tic TAC itself at least says, the data is secure and doesn't go to China, but Hank isn't so sure by dances under contract with the CCP to promote propaganda in the Chinese equivalent APP, which is called Julian getting getting that pronunciation right? They do that in the Jinjiang Province where The government is to put likely controlling the weaker Muslim population. So when I look at it from a moral perspective, I just personally when want my data potentially accessible by people who are doing something like that and in comparison to a US based company someone like facebook or twitter obviously instagram's owned by facebook they at least have to answer to the US government. As we've seen, know can take a series financial hit they have the US government. In Regulatory standards to answer to, and they've they've got a federal by to answer to which in my opinion bite dance doesn't totally considering they have that agreement with C.. P.. That's why Hank feels the possible Microsoft takeover of Tiktok in the US would be a step in the right direction and would help set some new standards for the APP but I also spoke with Patrick Jackson. The chief. Technology. Officer at the privacy firm disconnect who's also worked. For the NSA test. APPS. For a living I look at the network communication I also reverse engineer, the binoculars areas to see what secrets they hold in them. He says not so fast I would say that anytime you let your data leave your device Goto even if it's a US company or a foreign company that data can wind up in the wrong hands and it's because data is sold, it could be shared or could be stolen he points. To, facebook scandal a few years back facebook a US company allow data to be used by Cambridge. ANALYTICA to possibly interfere with the US election that data was was misused by companies that were US based, and so it to think that just because this APP is owned by a US company that data will only stay in the US and users don't have to worry is is false because you know money talks and these companies will do deals that will. Bring in dollars in May mean exchanging data for those dollars and also data can be stolen if we're giving up all of this data about ourselves location things that we like you know how long we look at certain videos. If we're giving up all this data to a US company and that data is stolen, then we're still back at square one. In fact, he says facebook who owns instagram and is now rolling out the tiktok copycat. Reels may have. More information about us than any other company almost every single APP that I do testing on has an integration with facebook, and so if you think about how much data that facebook is getting not only from the APPS that you use directly owned by Facebook Messenger. What's APP instagram and then eventually reels they're also embedded in so many apps that they don't own including Tiktok and so it's it's you know for a lot of attention to be on TIKTOK. Justified. That's okay. It's it's people's right to be suspicious, but that same suspicion should carry over to even. US. Companies like facebook they know when you're opening your workout apps and they know how much time you spend in them, our phones go everywhere with us. Our phones probably knows better than our loved ones still patrick has found some abnormal things about Tiktok specifically even beyond. Who owns it the amount of data that they collect within the first I counted the first nine seconds I counted two hundred, ten network requests from my device back to tick tock servers. It's clear that they've architect did this in the way to suck up as much data as possible. So knowing what these experts no I had to ask, would they ever download Tiktok? Henshaw says not right now personally for the privacy concerns until it's all hashed out I just is just something that I don't want to be the potential of Patrick Jackson on the other hand has downloaded it, but he gave it very limited access are revoked all the permissions that it's asked of me in the APP is still usable I can't postings because I don't give it microphone and camera permission. But if you just WANNA browse what's popular, you can do that and he says that's a good rule of thumb for any APP give the least permissions prop possible. See that APPs still works without permission that they were asking you for, and if it does then great if it doesn't and let's say you need, it's a calendar APP and you needed to actually access your calendar thing just give it that single permission ultimately, both experts agree it's up to us to understand where our data might be going for. As much as we use mobile phones in for as much as as comfortable as we are with them, people generally don't really know what to do to keep themselves safe. So we have to get really savvy about being able spot that abnormal behavior and then decide for ourselves. What do we feel comfortable with as they know that this is that this is happening then they could make better decisions. But if you don't know that you know High Fructose Corn Syrup is in your children's you know Pancake Syrup. Then you'll continue to buy it, but once you realize then you might say you know what I'll pick this other natural one over here. That just has a sugar