Is TikTok Now Safe?

That's a loaded question!

It's no secret that there are significant concerns about the TikTok social video service and its Chinese ownership. ByteDance, the current owner of TikTok has entered into a deal with US companies Oracle and Walmart to establish a new, US based company called TikTok Global that will assume ownership and operational responsibility for TikTok users in the United States and several other countries, aside from China.


Goverment, military, intelligence and corporate cybersecurity officials and organizations have issued warnings about TikTok secretly spying on its users. In most cases, the assertion is that data collected on TikTok users is shared with the Chinese government. There are conflicting assessments on this assertion, but most assume that this could be taking place. As a result, many organizations, both government and private, have banned the use of TikTok. It should be noted the both ByteDance and the Chinese government consistently deny these allegations.


With this new deal, many are hoping this will make the TikTok platform safe. The official press release notes that the US government has given tentative approval to the deal. You may be aware that the Trump Administration had announced a new ban on downloads of TikTok and an eventual complete ban of the platform within the United States.


The press release goes on to state that the new company, TikTok Global will be majority owned by "American investors, including Oracle and Walmart" and that the company will be "an independent American company." However, conflicting reports state that ByteDance will retain 80% ownership of TikTok Global with Oracle and Walmart holding 12.5% and 7.5% stakes respectively.


So, the bottom line is, more to follow. It's impossible to know, at this point, if this deal will resolve the security concerns with the platform. One hundred million users certainly hope so, but cybersecurity professionals will no doubt take a very conservative approach to this question.


For now, until more details are known, I still recommend avoiding the TikTok platform due to its widely reported security concerns.

Privacy Policy

© 2020 by MJ Shoer, LLC.