UBC urges students to delete TikTok over data privacy concerns

Students are recommended to use their browser to access TikTok content and not the app

TikTok is facing increasing scrutiny over its data privacy practices. The University of British Columbia (UBC) recently urged its students to delete the TikTok app from their phones and instead, use their phone’s browser to access the short video app.

This comes soon after the government of Canada implemented a ban on the use of TikTok on government-issued devices.

According to UBC, TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform and is used by several UBC students, staff and faculty for entertainment, education, research, outreach, and recruitment purposes. “However, it has also raised security and privacy concerns due to its data collection practices and sharing of data with its parent company ByteDance, based in China,” wrote UBC. The app accesses information such as contacts, calendars, device details, location, and biometric data. It also tracks user behaviour and preferences through its sophisticated algorithms.

UBC is currently monitoring the situation, and isn’t banning the app outright on university-owned devices. The university said, “While we recognize the security and privacy risks of using TikTok, the nature of these risks has not yet been proven and has not changed overnight. While the federal and provincial bans have shone a spotlight on the issue, at this time UBC is not considering a ban on TikTok use on university-owned devices, however, the situation will continue to be monitored closely.”

UBC also urges students to update their privacy settings to control what information is collected and shared. Further, it wants students to limit the personal information they share with the app, including birthdate, address and phone numbers.

The U.S. and the EU have also taken similar measures, citing national security concerns, while several employers in Canadian cities are banning TikTok on work devices. 

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Source: The University of British Columbia Via: iPhone in Canada