Because to concerns over data security, President Joseph Biden acknowledged the bipartisan movement to make TikTok illegal in the US.
The app’s extremely intrusive data collection may be cause for concern, as numerous users have pointed out.
However, the parent company ByteDance in China openly admitted that employees abused user data in order to track down two journalists.
Your data is equally risky with Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, however, the social media behemoth. Here’s why TikTok and Meta both pose a threat to your data.
Meta allowed “high-risk” countries to scrape user information in the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg was approached with concerns by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA), both members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. According to TechCrunch, the committee wrote a formal letter to Zuckerberg inquiring about data breaches to foreign governments. The letter claims that Meta was aware of authoritarian regimes’ collection of Facebook and Instagram user data at least since the Cambridge Analytica data breach.
According to the letter, “[W]e have grave concerns regarding the extent to which this access could have facilitated foreign intelligence service operations.” From targeting and counter-intelligence action to foreign malicious influence,
The People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, North Korea, and Iran are specifically mentioned in the letter. It claims that “thousands of developers” had access to the exposed data in “high-risk areas.”
TikTok isn’t the only social media company scraping and selling your data.
Recent documents published by Bloomberg suggest that Meta paid the data collecting company Bright
Data to scrape other websites for open e-commerce data*.
While this was going on, Meta publicly criticised the practise and even filed lawsuits against businesses
who scraped Facebook user data.
Moreover, Meta was fined $410 million by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission for running targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Additionally, significant data leaks have happened on Facebook and Instagram before. For instance, Insider reports that by the beginning of 2021, over 500 million Facebook users’ personal information was exposed online. TechCrunch reports that a similar incident with approximately 420 million phone number records stolen online took place in 2019.
The most recent findings, however, demonstrate that Meta’s careless data practises are just as dangerous for national security as TikTok.
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