Tech

TikTok: even if you don’t use it, the app collects your data

Tiktok is able to collect data on Internet users who do not even use the mobile application. No one knows what the Chinese company is doing with it, but it reminds us that on the Internet, the rules are so vague that they are easy to circumvent.

You are aware that Facebook, Google, Meta or even Amazon, in short, the members of GAFA, collect as much information as possible about you. This data, used more or less wisely, allows them to offer you ever more relevant and targeted articles, search results, products, which you may end up buying. When we think of TikTok, we imagine a lot of informative, funny or amazing videos. A study by Consumer Reports tells us that mobile video sharing and social networking app is not so innocent and good-natured that she let it appear.

Indeed, this last harvest, too, the data of Internet users, even those who do not have an account in the application. The Chinese company achieves this by placing tracking pixels on the websites of its advertising partners. A technique which makes it possible to trace the online habits and tastes of people without their knowledge, for a long time used by Google and others, but which is rather new for a mobile application. According to Patrick Jackson, CR journalist, refusing cookies is not enough to get rid of these tracers, which is problematic on the one hand, and above all illegal in France.

Tiktok collects data on everyone through its advertising partnerships

Of 20,000 websites analyzed, including the world’s 1,000 most popular sites and official agency domains ending in .gov or .org, several hundred share information with TikTok. Do you shop online at a major supermarket chain? Tiktok knows what products you buy. Have you bought a slightly controversial book on the site of a major French cultural brand? Tiktok recorded it well. Examples of this type and possible derivatives are numerous..

According to Patrick Jackson, the advertising activity of TikTok is exploding, and the number of partnerships is increasing every day. So there is no reason for the collection of personal data to slow down. Even if the collection of information is theoretically very framed, the reality is that Tiktok has placed trackers on sites that can reveal personal information or which concerns children (information considered confidential and therefore not supposed to be shared ). Cambridge Analytica-like scandals may be brewing, but no one is paying attention yet. Me Jackson thus affirms that companies must educate themselves on the sharing of confidential data. Believe it, most site owners don’tcan’t even imagine the amount of data which they share with Google, Meta and Tiktok.

Source : Consumer Reports

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