On October 20, Forbes released an article accusing TikTok parent company, ByteDance, of using the app to monitor the location of specific American Citizens. According to the article, a TikTok spokesperson explained that the app collects approximate location information based on users’ IP addresses to “help show relevant content and ads to users, comply with applicable laws, and detect and prevent fraud and inauthentic behavior.” However, Forbes claimed to have reviewed material that indicates the Beijing-based ByteDance’s Internal Audit team was going to use the location information for surveillance of certain American citizens.
TikTok fired back at the accusations the same day, claiming the Forbes article left out key information. In a series of tweets, the infamous dance app wrote on its Twitter account, “Forbes chose not to include the portion of our statement that disproved the feasibility outfits core allegation: TikTok does not collect precise GPS location information from U.S. users, meaning TikTok could not monitor U.S. users in the way the article suggests.” The TikTok Twitter account also wrote, “Our Internal Audit team follows set policies and processes to acquire information they need to conduct internal investigations of violations of the company codes of conduct.”
Whether or not these allegations are true, they highlight an important feature of any company, data security.
Society operates in a digital age that is always susceptible to data breaches, and it is important for consumers to know that there is always a chance apps use their personal information for purposes other than what they claim. Now that many people are working from home and using personal devices, it is crucial to make sure your devices are keeping your data protected.
If you use a smartphone, turning certain features off that enable apps to use your location or other information can help prevent such occurrences. Read app descriptions carefully to see which smartphone features they may use. It may be tempting to use the same simple password for everything, but consider using strong, complex passwords for each account to prevent hackers from being able to access your information.
Most people are unaware that data also stays on devices even after they are reset, which can end up in the wrong hands if enterprise IT assets are not properly disposed of. ITAD providers like HOBI collect unwanted IT assets and ensure all data is wiped from the hardware before it is recycled. Partnering with an ITAD provider is one way to ensure that enterprise data will keep your data safe even after disposition.
For more information about our ITAD services call 817-814-2620, or contact HOBI at firstname.lastname@example.org.