The study was conducted thanks to Apple’s new feature
On Monday, December 13, 2021, Apple unveiled its iOS 15.2 update. Among other things, it has launched a new feature to record application activity, which allows you to see if applications are leaking your data. The specialized site URL Genius used the opportunity to perform tests on different categories of applications (shopping, books, business, music, etc.).
On the social media side, the result is unattractive. YouTube and TikTok are proudly ahead of everyone else, thanks to a total of 14 contacts made with other networks.
There is a difference between the two. If YouTube seems to be returning most of its data to its domain, especially for the proper functioning of Google services (history, location, etc.), this is not the case with the Chinese social network. Apple’s analysis shows that 13 of its 14 contacts relate to third-party domains. In other words, it is difficult to know where the data is going, or even to know what the data is.
At the bottom of the rankings with surprise we find Facebook and Snapchat, as well as WhatsApp. The social network Telegram, for its part, privileged for several years due to its secure aspect, shows as many as nine contacts, all intended for third-party domains.
At the end of his analysis, he writes the URL of the Genius site “The findings raise important questions about the consistency between consumer perception and potential monitoring of behavior that still occurs when permission to monitor is not granted. »
Chinese Empire of Personal Data
Distrust of Chinese technology is not new. While still president, Donald Trump tried to shut down TikTok in the United States or force his parent company, ByteDance, to sell its app to U.S. companies like Microsoft. That did not happen and the Biden administration did not lead him.
However, on February 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that “The Department of Commerce [américain] proposes a rule to extend restrictions to Chinese applications, ”TikTok was a reference here. The idea is simple: expand federal oversight to explicitly include applications that “foreign adversaries could use to steal or otherwise obtain data. »
The newspaper went so far as to convince “TikTok only needs one important piece of information to know what you want: how long you stay on the content. »
The Chinese company has always denied transmitting data to the Chinese government. According to him, that would be an exclusively commercial practice.
To infinity still?
In a 2019 Digital Century article, we could read that Byte Dance, the parent company of TikTok, “Generates a lot of revenue through content learning platforms based on machine learning. » Another strength of the Chinese giant, which goes hand in hand with machine learning, is artificial intelligence. All this research is based primarily on the analysis of data on human behavior. Therefore, it is logical that TikTok represents a real gold mine of information for the development of side projects.
At a time when Facebook is becoming a Meta and rapidly developing its parallel universe into virtual reality, TikTok is also working on its own filter and augmented reality tools, which will undoubtedly enable it to collect even more data.