Privacy Possible on Tik Tok

On November 17, 2020, The Verge published an ​article​ entitled, “Tik Tok Now Lets Parents Make Their Teens’ Accounts More Private.” This particular article is primarily about theuse of Tik Tok, a Chinese software program. ​ByteDance, a Chinese technology company, ownsthe software behind Tik Tok. At the moment, however, a US firm called Susquehanna bought astake in Tik Tok. As a result, Susquehanna owns 15% of the company as the US wanted some power over Tik Tok’s privacy controls. ​As a matter of fact, Tik Tok is not open-source (the owners of Tik Tok do not share the code to their app); it requires a license to use. Tik Tok uses the internet in order to function properly. On Tik Tok, users have the ability to post videos that are uploaded to the internet. Tik Tok’s direct messaging system allows users to communicate with one another via the app that functions through the internet. Information on Tik Tok flows in packets. This allows for data to be transmitted efficiently. At first, children’s privacy on Tik Tok presented a possible privacy risk. According to thearticle, Tik Tok now allows parents the ability to control their teens’ accounts. This particular article mentions that “parents will now be able to restrict who can comment on their teen’svideos, who can view their account, and who can see what videos they’ve liked.” This solution resolves the privacy issue in which parents feared that unwanted users might be able to see theirchildren’s content. Additionally, Tik Tok also “offers the ability for parents to turn off or limitdirect messages.” These solutions make the app more child (or teen)-friendly.

Tik Tok has been cited in several legal cases. Most recently, Tik Tok was nearly banned in the United States due to privacy and security concerns; the US simply did not trust the Chinese app. ​On October 30, According to The Washington Post, “​Tik Tok​​ spared a ban in the United States by a judge in Pennsylvania who granted a temporary halting of the restrictionsagainst the video app that were set to take effect November 12.” For the most part, if used responsibly and in moderation, Tik Tok improves most teen’slives because the app allows teens to express their own creativity through posting content andeven allows teens to make new friends online through watching other people’s content and directmessaging their “idols.”