Report warns of security concerns amid sudden rise of TikTok

The video-sharing app has more than 3 million active users in Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/14
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With more than 500 million users around the world, a Chinese-made app for sharing short videos could be a “Huawei-sized problem” that poses a national security threat to the West, according to a recent U.S. think tank report.

The China-based video-sharing mobile app TikTok is fast becoming the most downloaded app in the world, which, outside China, sees 80 million users in the U.S. and 120 million users in the rest of the world. A report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics stated that the app today has become alarmingly popular among the U.S. armed forces.

“TikTok, like the vast majority of social apps, collects location data,” the report says. The filming could also leak confidential national security information if it’s taken inside military facilities, and disclose their identities.

The scholar’s woe didn’t come out of nowhere, as the social app is believed to be able to gather a lot of data on users, and be easily accessed and leveraged by Beijing. The information could feed the authoritarian regime’s existing gargantuan image database, allowing its national surveillance software to recognize Western faces more accurately, as well as to serve as “espionage and manipulation of public opinion.”    [FULL  STORY]

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