Tory MPs raise fears of data seizure in Beijing as Communist Party tightens grip on TikTok, the app for sharing videos with millions of users around the world
- Conservative MPs renew fears of Beijing ‘seizure of personal data’ on young UK TikTok users
- Privacy Concern Rises After Chinese Government Gains Company Board Seat
- Comes amid growing concern the app may “spy” on users, which TikTok denies
Conservative MPs have rekindled fears over the Chinese government’s access to personal data after tightening its grip on the owner of TikTok, the video-sharing social network with hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
The privacy concerns were raised after billionaire investor George Soros revealed that Beijing had taken a stake and secured a board seat at a key subsidiary of TikTok’s ultimate owner, Byte Dance.
Mr Soros warned that this “gives Beijing direct access to the inner workings of a company that holds one of the world’s greatest treasures of personal data.”
China’s move comes amid growing concerns that the app could be used by Beijing to spy on users, which TikTok denies.
China’s move comes amid growing fears that TikTok is being used by Beijing to spy on users, which the company denies. [File picture]
The company says it collects less data than Google or Facebook and is committed to protecting the privacy and security of the TikTok community.
Last year, TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app: every month, its 732 million active users spent as much time on it as there has been since the Stone Age – 2.8 billion hours, or nearly 320,000 years.
In July, it became the first non-Facebook app to cross the 3 billion download mark, with Byte Dance now generating nearly Â£ 30 billion in revenue per year.
The privacy concerns were raised after billionaire investor George Soros revealed that Beijing had taken a stake and secured a seat on the board of directors of a key subsidiary of TikTok’s ultimate owner, Byte Dance.
Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed government concerns over sinister surveillance tactics employed by Chinese fashion brand Shein, including spying on unsuspecting customers using social media sites and apps – TikTok in particular. – by collecting data on what its customers see and like, and then commissioning its factories to produce copies at a lower cost than its competitors, including UK fashion producers.
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, warned yesterday of the growing power of China’s “watch state”.
Mr. Tugendhat said: âThe United States stopped the sale of Grindr to a Chinese company because it was rightly concerned about the risk to American privacy.
âTikTok is following the dreams of many others and its data is now heading towards a state of security that keeps its own citizens on electronic leashes. He could now try the same thing with our fellow citizens.