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The Explainer: Why are there concerns over how TikTok is using your data?

Chris Stokel-Walker, author of a definitive book on TikTok, joins us this week to explain what the controversies around the Chinese-run app are.

TIKTOK IS ONE of the world’s most popular social media apps, with over 1 billion users drawn to its rapid-fire video stream and huge array of content.

But it’s also one of the most controversial apps, given its Chinese ownership (it’s run by ByteDance, which also has many other apps which are only available in China), and concerns about what it does with its data. 

Last week, the CEO of TikTok, Shou Chew, was questioned before US Congress about the app. While some of the questions centred around user behaviour, many other questions were about the ownership of TikTok, what it does with user data, and whether it poses a risk to people globally because of how much data it can access.

On this week’s podcast, Chris Stokel-Walker, author of TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and the Superpower Race for Social Media, joins us to discuss what’s been going on with TikTok, and what we need to know. He chats to presenter Laura Byrne about the app’s background, ByteDance, and how different TikTok really is to all the other big apps out there.

Listen to The Explainer

The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was created by presenters Sinéad O’Carroll and Laura Byrne, and producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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