A hot potato: While TikTok remains one of the most popular apps in the world, its policies and parent company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government have brought plenty of controversy. One person who’s definitely not a fan is Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, who called it “fundamentally parasitic” and “spyware.”

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