TikTok’s Location Tracking

TikTok has gained access to users locations and displays videos in a viewers for you page that live in a similar area.

TikTok is locking away everyone's information and could potentially use it for something dangerous.

Lena De Vore

TikTok is locking away everyone’s information and could potentially use it for something dangerous.

TikTok is currently one of the most popular apps available in the app store. The app has an audience of all ages, nationalities and genders. The app was produced in China, and was originally known as Musical.ly. The creator of TikTok, ByteDance’s, purpose of the app was to be a site where people could be creative on all aspects of the spectrum and share their videos for others to see.

A new discovery on the app are videos that are recommended to the viewer on their “for you page” that may happen to be in their same state. TikTok’s location tracking has brought up many trending hashtags, making it easier to see other videos in the same state as the viewer. Recently many states have gone viral, meaning a person will notice an abundance of videos on their for you page that were made in, for example, Illinois. While this feature may not be protective of the users’ personal privacy, some may enjoy this feature because they can connect with people that may live near them.

“I think it is nice to see videos from your location because you can connect with people who are close to you,” junior Sophia Semersky said. “I do not think TikTok is very safe, but since it is an app specifically for kids, there isn’t much they can do because there could be a big lawsuit.”

Location is a main key to the videos that will be recommended to a viewer, which brings up many possible dangers on the app. The access to users locations has brought up many security concerns about the app. According to CNBC News, the first reported concern was presented by Reuters. They claimed that the Chinese government has access to the app’s data and user profiles, which caused many concerns for the personal security of the app’s users.

According to the New York Times, precautions have been issued by many US companies. The amount of privacy guaranteed on TikTok is not different than any other app, besides the fact that the app uses viewers’ locations to recommend videos to them. Since TikTok may have access to users’ locations and personal information, changes to the security on the app will continue to increase with the push from other security companies.