Reddit CEO calls TikTok "spyware" and "fundamentally parasitic"

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

As reported by TechCrunch, Huffman was taking part in a panel discussion with former Facebook execs Sam Lessin and Elliot Schrage at the “Social 2030” conference in San Francisco. When asked if Silicon Valley startups could learn something from TikTok, Huffman revealed his feelings on the app.

“Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with them,” Huffman said. “Because I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.”

“I actively tell people, ‘Don’t install that spyware on your phone,'” he later added.

Following its launch in China back in September 2016, TikTok, which allows users to create 15-second video clips, has amassed over 800 million monthly average users. The app has seen more than 1.5 billion downloads during its lifetime, making it the seventh-most downloaded app of the last decade. But TikTok has been plagued with privacy issues, including a $5.7 million fine for illegally collecting the personal information of children. It’s also been the subject of a US national security review, been banned by the Navy and TSA, and is the target of a class-action lawsuit that claims it comes pre-installed with “Chinese surveillance software.”

TikTok's privacy policy reveals that it collects a shocking amount of data from users, including IP address, IP history, mobile carrier, device ID, where they log-in from multiple devices, unique device identifiers, and even keystroke patterns. It states that this information may be shared with third-party services such as advertisers.

Center image credit: G Holland via Shutterstock

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QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
I just hope all the people who are reading about how Tik Tok is spyware from the Chinese government will take a moment to reflect on how FACEBOOK is spyware from the American FBI.

Orwell never could have imagined that we'd be this stupid.

Force Feeding our personals to the government on our own dime.

Imagine taking all your family photos, secrets and current issues - packaging them up and mailing them to the CIA/FBI/NSA.
 

S Hone

TS Rookie
I just hope all the people who are reading about how Tik Tok is spyware from the Chinese government will take a moment to reflect on how FACEBOOK is spyware from the American FBI.

Orwell never could have imagined that we'd be this stupid.

Force Feeding our personals to the government on our own dime.

Imagine taking all your family photos, secrets and current issues - packaging them up and mailing them to the CIA/FBI/NSA.
Yeah but its a bit onesided. Facebook, Twitter and thousands of other western apps are blocked in China.... So China can take all they want while western apps cannot. Time to reciprocate
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
I just hope all the people who are reading about how Tik Tok is spyware from the Chinese government will take a moment to reflect on how FACEBOOK is spyware from the American FBI.

Orwell never could have imagined that we'd be this stupid.

Force Feeding our personals to the government on our own dime.

Imagine taking all your family photos, secrets and current issues - packaging them up and mailing them to the CIA/FBI/NSA.
If someone uses Facebook for anything more than browsing memes on the toilet, they're an idoit
 
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Vantage9

TS Rookie
If someone uses Facebook for anything more than browsing memes on the toilet, they're an idoit
You've missed the point entirely. Just having the account with which to log in, or even worse the app installed on your phone - you are sending SO much personal data and potentially sensitive information about your habits, all without you actually uploading or inputting anything.
 
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Reactions: dangh
I just hope all the people who are reading about how Tik Tok is spyware from the Chinese government will take a moment to reflect on how FACEBOOK is spyware from the American FBI.

Orwell never could have imagined that we'd be this stupid.

Force Feeding our personals to the government on our own dime.

Imagine taking all your family photos, secrets and current issues - packaging them up and mailing them to the CIA/FBI/NSA.
The difference is, Facebook will only provide that data with a legal subpoena, authorized by a judge, & Facebook isn't financed by or controlled by any agency of any government. TikTok, however, has almost certainly received a large portion of its funding from Chinese government "grants", if not being flat-out developed by a government-run company, which means they don't ask for a subpoena before turning it over...
 

dangh

TS Booster
TikTok, however, has almost certainly received a large portion of its funding from Chinese government "grants", if not being flat-out developed by a government-run company, which means they don't ask for a subpoena before turning it over...
Not guilty until proven guilty. While we already know all your contact list and calls made are collected by FB application.
Or maybe you have already proofs of tik tok spying for a government? Please, share.
 
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umbala

TS Guru
I always find it amusing to see some American cry foul about Chinese software while being perfectly fine with the biggest spying software/site on the planet: Facebook. If an American company spies on you it's fine, but if the Chinese do it then it's "terrifying" !!!
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
/u/spez talking as if he doesn't have a lot of controversies in hand.
Found the t_d user. How is the hunt for new mods going?

Not guilty until proven guilty. While we already know all your contact list and calls made are collected by FB application.
Or maybe you have already proofs of tik tok spying for a government? Please, share.
You cannot operate a business in China without a high ranking party member being on the board. Seems like proof enough to me.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
The difference is, Facebook will only provide that data with a legal subpoena, authorized by a judge, & Facebook isn't financed by or controlled by any agency of any government. TikTok, however, has almost certainly received a large portion of its funding from Chinese government "grants", if not being flat-out developed by a government-run company, which means they don't ask for a subpoena before turning it over...
fakebook provides data for money - that's how they get paid. Not to mention, they have, even if unwittingly, provided significant amounts of data for free through lax security. In no way, at least as I see it, is fakebook any better.
 
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HugsNotDrugs

TS Enthusiast
The difference is, Facebook will only provide that data with a legal subpoena, authorized by a judge, & Facebook isn't financed by or controlled by any agency of any government. TikTok, however, has almost certainly received a large portion of its funding from Chinese government "grants", if not being flat-out developed by a government-run company, which means they don't ask for a subpoena before turning it over...
Remember Cambridge Analytica? And how it was revealed that Facebook had a system to sell user data to third parties?
 
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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
You've missed the point entirely. Just having the account with which to log in, or even worse the app installed on your phone - you are sending SO much personal data and potentially sensitive information about your habits, all without you actually uploading or inputting anything.
Oh no, Facebook knows I use Charmin Ultra sofa. Whatever will I do? I will share this information while I like an image of a woman screaming at a cat eating a salad.
 
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PEnnn

TS Guru
The difference is, Facebook will only provide that data with a legal subpoena, authorized by a judge, & Facebook isn't financed by or controlled by any agency of any government. TikTok, however, has almost certainly received a large portion of its funding from Chinese government "grants", if not being flat-out developed by a government-run company, which means they don't ask for a subpoena before turning it over...
Actually, no! Facebook without the benefit of subpoena or anything similar, happily and willingly provided data to third parties (developers, dubious research companies, political entities, etc). You have heard of Ca,bridge Analytics? If not, here is a link for you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook–Cambridge_Analytica_data_scandal
 
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Kerodon

TS Enthusiast
Lol, hilarious coming from the Censorware, Reddit.
He's not wrong but damn if he's not the one who should be running off about it.