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Do you know where your data is? Lessons to be learned from TikTok

Article By Brendan Cole | | Technology Consulting

In this ‘Age of Data’ we find ourselves in, we’re constantly barraged by services looking to collect information. Whether this be seeking our feedback on an online purchase we just made or confirming our height and weight to setup a fitness tracker, our personal information is spread out in a complex web of multiple services.

This also holds true in the business world: Your company’s information can find its way through to many places, ideally all legitimate.

With how easy it is to pass out this information, many of us have stopped considering something very important:

What happens to that data once it’s out of our hands?

This is a question that is legally required to be answered, and can almost always be found in the Privacy Policy for the service you are using, but studies conducted in 2018 found that 94% of Australians hadn’t read the Privacy Policy or Terms and Conditions of all services they’d signed up for. This is sadly quite understandable with how much easier it is to just tick the box and say that you agree.

But while it is far easier to feign comprehension and acceptance, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of this.

One service’s data access concerns have been making headlines recently, and that is the video sharing platform TikTok.

TikTok is a prime example of situations that can arise with flippantly handing over personal data, in where it states in its Privacy Policy  that it will be collecting swathes of information, such as location, internet browsing history, and the contents of private messages.

As for usage of this data, it further states it will disclose this information to third parties in various situations, including requests made by its home government of China.

It’s safe to say the vast majority of its hundreds of millions of users were either unaware, or not bothered by this mass data collection when they signed up. And while no apparent misuse of data collected by the platform has surfaced yet, all that collected information is no longer under the sole control of its users.

This shows that even such a seemingly sociable service that can be good for a quick laugh can have massive privacy concerns that we should all be aware of.

Data security is an extremely important aspect of keeping you and your client’s information safe. Get in touch with the Altitude Innovations team for assistance on how best to ensure the security of your organisation and its data.