TikTok is "fundamentally parasitic", using "fingerprinting technology" that is "truly terrifying", according to Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman, labelling the popular social media app as "spyware".
"I actively tell people, ‘Don't install that spyware on your phone'," he added.
Hoffman was speaking on a panel at the ‘Social 2030' Silicon Valley investment conference this week.
"Maybe I'm going to regret this, but I can't even get to that level of thinking with them. 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," he said, according to Fast Company.
The short-video sharing app was developed by Chinese company ByteDance, which has yet to provide a statement on the comments. Released in September 2016, it grew rapidly and become the most downloaded mobile app in the US by October 2018. It is now available in 150 territories and 75 languages around the world.
However, it has not been without its controversies, including the uncovering of serious security flaws on the platform.
It is not the first time that concern has been voiced over the app, which was developed by Chinese company ByteDance. Last year, lawmakers in the US called for intelligence agencies to assess the security risks posed by social media platforms owned by Chinese companies. Senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton argued that apps like TikTok could be used to spy on US citizens or even to target individuals.
In February 2019, the company was fined $5.7 million by the US Federal Trade Commission for collecting information about children under the age of 13 in violation of the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
And in November 2019, a class-action lawsuit was launched in California claiming that TikTok transferred personally-identifiable information of US citizens to servers in China owned by Tencent and Alibaba.
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