2020 was TikTok’s year. Although the social media platform was already popular by late-2018, nothing could have boosted its user base faster than our thirst for distraction from the imminent collapse of society. And if all press is good press, TikTok certainly benefited from media attention in 2020, taking centre stage in the geopolitical struggle between China and the US.
Suddenly, everyone cared about what data was being collected by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. But despite the Trump administration’s claims that China might be spying on you via your favourite entertainment app, there is no evidence that your data is less safe in the hands of a Chinese company than in those of the US-based “usual suspects”, like Facebook and Amazon. In fact, in July of 2020, the European Court of Justice struck down the EU-US privacy agreement known as Privacy Shield, on the grounds that US national security laws endangered EU citizens’ data.Life
In light of all this, I wanted some clarity. Taking advantage of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I asked TikTok to send me all the data they had on me. Anyone in the EU can do this – here is the template I used, and the email address you should send it to.