[Opinion] It is Time to Terminate TikTok

Author: Spring                   Contributors: Mangum 44

The famous application , TikTok, a video-sharing mobile application owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., has been downloaded over 175 M times independently in America and over a billion worldwide1. ByteDance  another name of  “China’s Facebook”  was  estimated $75 billion. Chinese version of TikTok named Douyin, launched in 2016 and the international version in 20176. The CCP’s ByteDance company can constantly threaten to leak huge amounts of user’s information as pleased. Therefore, it is time for the Trump Administration to take further action on this issue, thus ensuring cyber safety all around the globe.

According to the document from the White House1, TikTok collects enormous data including location data and search histories. These big data can be analyzed for some political usage such as tracking the locations of Federal employees and contractors, building records of personal information for blackmail, and conducting corporate espionage.

TikTok has an obligation to sensor sensitive content that the Chinese Communist Party defined according to Chinese law. These include protests in Hong Kong, the human rights of Uyghurs&Tibetans, and so on.

 Scott Ikeda, who wrote an article in CPO magazine, did research about the security of TikTok. Scott mentioned an anonymous Reddit user named Bangorlol who has reverse-engineered the social networking app, found TikTok vacuums up every bit of users’ personal information and their preferences. The information includes detailed device hardware info, network information, lists of apps you have installed, and whether or not the device has been jailbroken, etc.  His findings are approved by prior researching firms such as Penetrum and Zimperium3,4.

Most of all, TikTok could have potentially leaked user emails, full names, and birthdates that are the most private info in plain text to the third allowed person intentionally. An attacker could transfer files off the device, capture text messages, trace phone calls, or add the device to a botnet.

Zimperium z3A, recognized as the first-tier ranking of “application reputation scanning service” that continually assesses risks posed by mobile apps, concluded that: “the Android version has high privacy and security risks and iOS has high privacy and medium-security risks. iOS rates 98/100 for privacy and 64/100 for security. Android is 79/100 for privacy and 82/100 for security”5.

Around the beginning of 2020, the US army included the Navy, the Airforce, the Coast Guard, the Marine Corps, TSA, the Department of Homeland Security banned TikTok from government devices6,7.

The applying of mobile applications developed and owned by companies from the People’s Republic of China (China) continually put the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States at stake. The ridiculous 2020 election has shown that the Chinese Communist party has meddled the election so enormously, it is time for the Trump administration to terminate the app TikTok eventually.

Reviewer: Ivy


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1 month ago

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