Thursday Feb 27, 2020
Steve Huffman, Reddit CEO and co-founder, said on Thursday that popular app TikTok was “fundamentally parasitic” owing to privacy concerns. He slammed the app’s practice of fingerprinting to track devices by stating that it was of particular concern to him.
“Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with [TikTok],” he said at the Social 2030 venture capital conference this week. He said that the fingerprinting technology of the app was “truly terrifying” and that he could not bring himself to install an app like that on his phone.
The fingerprinting technology that TikTok uses involves tracking which users are watching and sharing videos on both the app and the web. TikTok parent company ByteDance says the technology is used to identify malicious browser behavior.
“I actively tell people, ‘Don’t install that spyware on your phone,’” Huffman went on to add.
The same concern had been voiced by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg during an audio podcast earlier. She had raised alarm at the level at which TikTok was growing. She had said that TikTok was “a Chinese company, if people are concerned about data I think there’s a lot to be concerned about there.”