Should we be afraid of TikTok, the app accused of being in the pay of the Chinese government?

With 800 million users, TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world. But Donald Trump wants to ban it from the United States, on the grounds that, according to him, the data of the users would be transferred to the Communist Party of China, country of origin of TikTok. However, nothing indicates that this is the case.

This is Donald Trump’s new fad: TikTok, a very popular Chinese social network (800 million users) is in the process of being banned in the United States. The US president accuses him of providing data to Chinese intelligence services . According to Mike Pompeo, the head of US diplomacy, TikTok “sends data (about its users) directly to the Chinese Communist Party”, including “their address, phone number, friends, contacts”. So, should we be afraid of TikTok? “No more than one should be afraid of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other social networks”, estimates Baptiste Robert, researcher in cybersecurity, questioned by Europe 1.

In the midst of a global geopolitical and technological storm, Baptiste Robert dissected the application code, a work he made public in a blog post . “TikTok, like many mobile applications, draws data related to your device: language set, version of your operating system, connection to wifi, etc. It is very common. There is nothing unusual. in the operation of TikTok at this level “, assures the researcher in cybersecurity.

TikTok has more than 800 million active users worldwide.

No data stored in China

The application therefore sucks a lot of personal data. But where does it store them? Not in China, affirms Baptiste Robert, confirming the line of defense of TikTok, which insists that it has “no operational activity” in this country . “It’s a sprawling application, with hundreds of millions of users. To deliver content to everyone, you need a substantial infrastructure. In fact, if you are a French user, and you post a video on TikTok , the data is sent to a French server “, explains the expert.

However, a doubt has not yet been raised. “Are these data stored on the French server subsequently transferred to another hidden server, for example in China? Impossible to answer”, admits Baptiste Robert. Maybe Microsoft’s teams will be able to learn more. The American giant, candidate for the takeover of the American branch of TikTok , will submit the application to “a complete safety assessment”. The negotiations, if successful, could avoid the ban on the United States desired by Donald Trump. The deadline has been set for September 15th.