A closer look into online privacy


Aiden Kim, Staff Reporter

More than 500 million people use Tiktok every day worldwide. Probably everyone in our school has heard about the Tiktok deal and the ban on the news, but why? 

The simple answer is data security. Data is literally oil in the 21st century and Tiktok contains billions of information across the globe. 

To leverage these enormous resources, China has a law that allows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to get data from tech companies, and major concerns from Washington is that they can use this law for espionage. Tiktok currently stores your IP address, names, Social media accounts linked to your Tiktok, messages, and literally everything. 

Just a few weeks ago, in response to President Trump’s executive order, U.S.-based security company Oracle (ORCL), Walmart (WMT), and other venture capital companies bought a 12 percent stake from Bytedance. 

So did Oracle buy Tiktok? No. 

Oracle just bought or invested 12 percent of company stock, and, surprisingly, Walmart gained a few seats on the executive board–which means this deal didn’t cover security concerns.

We still don’t know about the future ban in the U.S. because of the upcoming elections and court ruling, but one thing for sure is that there are still some major security concerns with TikTok. 

These concerns about data security aren’t unique from China. U.S. major tech companies like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Gmail still have concerns about privacy. 

The National Security Agency (NSA) had warrantless surveillance on U.S. citizens following the 911 attack by using “Prism” programs to basically spy on email, phone calls, and everyday conversations. 

In 2013, the whistleblower from the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency named Edward Snowden leaked highly classified information about these programs and started to bring the spotlight on digital surveillance and data protection. 

At the end of the day, if you use social media, it is impossible to have full privacy. The only choice we have is about who gets your information–either the U.S. or China.