Can TiKToK spy on you?

by Fisherman 10 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Fisherman

    Several years ago I was having a conversation with a neighbor inside a store and he told me that he was in the park one day with a friend who was then struck by lightning and after a few moments after being struck they walked away from there and while they were walking away my neighbor told me that his friend got hit by lightning a second time ki&&ing him. After telling me this story lightning struck and we heard thunder. Coincidence or act of God? But I’ve been noticing for a while that after having a conversation with someone or sending someone a message, after opening up TikTok, the same subject is on the TikTok. How many times this needs to happen for it not to be a coincidence?

  • BettyHumpter

    Yes. Your phone and websites share data. Some worse than others, but it's pretty much the world we live in for the past 2+ decades. There are ways to mitigate it, but you can't completely escape it unless you decide to live a completely 1995 life.

    Its a problem. You can read pages of disclaimers when you buy a phone or download an app and maybe find out what is and isn't being shared but i think you're just having to take their word for it. Unless you're knowledgeable enough to read and understand all their code. ( That you won't have complete access to even if you did possess such skill. )

  • jonahstourguide

    Hi Fisherman.

    This Australian news article regarding research into your aforementioned subject sheds some light on what goes on behind the scenes.

    I'll paste an excerpt shortly.

    TikTok's in-app browser can monitor your keystrokes, including passwords and credit cards, researcher says

    By Grace McKinnonPosted 1h ago1 hours ago
    Image of iphone surrounded by app icrons including TikTok.
    Using in-app browsers to open links through apps including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok poses a security and privacy risk on mobile devices.(Grace McKinnon)Help keep family & friends informed by sharing this article

    Have you ever clicked open a link while scrolling through an app on a mobile?

    Key points:

    • In-app browsers increase security and privacy risks
    • A computer scientist says big tech undermines trust in e-commerce
    • TikTok denies it is storing user data but confirms the existence of code

    New research has revealed some of the data popular apps can track and collect while using in-app browsers.

    Software engineer and security researcher Felix Krause has assessed what code is injected onto a website to gather user activity when it is opened through an app.

    This includes any ads or links clicked through a creator's profile.

    For example, any link clicked through TikTok will open within the app using the platform's in-app browser rather than a default browser like Chrome or Safari.

    What does an in-app browser look like?

    Interactive story: What does an in app browser look like?
    Read more

    The Java Script code embedded by TikTok allows the company to monitor all keystrokes — the equivalent of a keylogger — as well as every tap on the screen, and text inputs including passwords and credit card information.

    "Installing a keylogger is obviously a huge thing… according to TikTok it's disabled at the moment," Mr Krause said.

    "The problem is they do have the infrastructure and the systems in place to be able to track all these keystrokes… that on its own is a huge problem.

    "The fact that they have this system already is a huge risk for every user."

    The Vienna-based researcher is the founder of Fastlane, a testing platform for Android and iOS apps, acquired by Google five years ago.

    He has been looking at the risks of in-app browsers for several years, but the increased use by big tech companies spurred him to look at the code behind each platform.

    On Thursday he released a report on his findings after creating a security tool,, for anyone to see what apps can track when using their in-app browsers.

    It can recognise what the apps like TikTok, Instagram and Meta can track but it is unable to tell us what data each app chooses to collect, transfer or use.

    Image of iphone showing the JavaScript TikTok injects tracking code that can monitor all keystrokes. Source: Felix Krause
    TikTok injects tracking code that can monitor all keystrokes.(Felix Krause)


  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    In a number of respects I think my life was better in 1995 than it is now. I also think the internet was better then in regards to not being cluttered with distracting animated ads which consume computer memory and CPU cycles.

    I often wondered why people with smart phones are encouraged by businesses to install apps (aka, miniature application programs) on their phones rather simply bookmarking the business' website and logging into the business' site. Now I know why. The apps might save some time for the consumer, but it might not be worth it. I've never bought a smart phone, and that is due to a combination of several reasons.

  • joao

    Answer: it is neither!

  • punkofnice

    I'm not sure I understand the story about the lightening.

  • BettyHumpter

    In a number of respects I think my life was better in 1995 than it is now. I also think the internet was better then

    I agree. I miss the 90's internet. I remember the naive excitement of first getting online. Everyone will have a world of knowledge at their fingertips. Not taking into consideration that it would become less a Library of Alexandria and more a town square for conspiracy nutters and narcissists sharing pictures of what they had for lunch.

  • Diogenesister
    DJW In a number of respects I think my life was better in 1995 than it is now. I also think the internet was better

    100%. I don't know if it's a sign of getting old but with the exception of having my children, I'd take the 90s any day. In fact, I'd take my kids back to the 90s for their own well being and safety.

    I also think the people online back in (1998 for me) were a more interesting crowd.

    Edit: Punky also don't quite understand lightening story but it was interesting nonetheless.

    Edit 2: Answer: whole internet spying on you sale of data is a big old ca$h cow

  • BettyHumpter

    I've never bought a smart phone, and that is due to a combination of several reasons.

    I don't know how you've accomplished this, but I salute you. I miss the world of not having several mild anxiety attacks each day, every time I hear the ding of a text message. (it's usually someone from work asking a pointless question to cover themselves. Sorta like email but much worse ). You can't even ignore your friends if in a bad mood because "I know you got my message, you always check your phone, so dont act like you didnt" :(

  • TonusOH

    I have a mild anxiety attack whenever I hear the "ding" of a message, but that's because it's on someone else's phone and it's goddamned annoying. I have two mobile phones (one personal, one work) but I hardly use them at all. My personal phone gets used for my shopping list, and... not much else. Which is why I plan to get rid of it soon.

    I'm a technophile, but I learned enough about security over the years to be quite afraid of this stuff. Knowing doesn't save you, either. You can make a determined effort to keep your info private... until Experian gets hacked and gives up all the info that someone would need to wipe out everything you have (and everything you could've had).

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