Privacy Evaluation for TikTok - Real Short Videos
The terms of TikTok state that users may interact with trusted and other untrusted users on the service. The terms recommend that if users choose to engage in public activities on the service, they should be aware that any information they share may be read, collected, or used by other users. However, younger users under the age of 13 have a more limited interactive experience. For example, they can’t exchange messages with other users. Younger Users also cannot publicly share personal information, including videos or profile information. While younger users may save videos directly to their device, the videos will not be saved by TikTok or viewable by other users. Lastly, the terms state that users control whether their user content is made publicly available on the services to all other users of the services, or only available to people a user approves.
TikTok's terms state they collect personal information, technical information, and behavioral information about a user's use of the service. The terms also state TikTok collects information contained in the messages users send through the service and information from a user's phone book, if they grant TikTok access to the phone book on a user's mobile device. If a user chooses to find other users through their phone contacts, TikTok will access and collect the names and phone numbers and match that information against existing users of the service. In addition, if users choose to find other users through their social network contacts, TikTok will collect their public profile information as well as names and profiles of their social contacts.
Additionally, the terms state TikTok allows their business partners, advertising networks, and other advertising vendors and service providers (including analytics vendors and service providers) to collect information about a user's online activities. TikTok's terms state they link a user's contact or subscriber information with a user's activity on their service across all a user's devices, using their email or other log-in or device information. Third parties may use a user's information to display advertisements on TikTok and elsewhere online tailored to a user's interests, preferences, and characteristics. However, users should be aware their mobile device may include a feature that allows them to opt-out of some types of targeted advertising such as "Limit Ad Tracking" on iOS, and "Opt out of Interest-Based Ads" on Android.
TikTok's terms state they will maintain a comprehensive data security program and have implemented a variety of physical, administrative and technological safeguards designed to preserve the integrity and security of the personal information they collect and to protect against unauthorized access, disclosure, and use. The terms do not discuss encryption of data or data breach notification.
What data does it collect?
- Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
- The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
- Collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
- Geolocation data are collected.
- Biometric or health data are collected.
- Interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data are collected.
- Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
- Data is automatically collected.
- Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
- Unclear whether personal information of users is collected by a third party.
What data does it share?
- Collected information is shared with third parties.
- The categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
- The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
- The categories of third parties that receive data are indicated.
- Data are shared for analytics.
- Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
- Third-party services are used to support the product.
- The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
- Third-party login is supported.
- Unclear whether contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
How does it secure data?
- A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
- Account creation is required.
- Unclear whether managed accounts are available.
- Unclear whether multi-factor account protection is available.
- Third-parties with access to information are required to provide the same security protections as the company.
- Reasonable security practices are used to protect data.
- Unclear whether this product limits employee or physical access to user information.
- Unclear whether this product encrypts all data in transit.
- Unclear whether all data are stored in an encrypted format.
- Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
What rights do I have to the data?
- Users can create or upload content.
- Users retain ownership of their data.
- Processes to access or review user data are available.
- Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
- Unclear whether the product provides a data-retention policy.
- Processes for authorized users to delete data are available.
- Unclear whether a user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
- Unclear whether this product deletes data when no longer necessary.
- Unclear whether methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
- Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to download their data.
Is the data sold?
- Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
- Users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
- User information can be transferred to a third party in the event of a merge, acquisition, or bankruptcy.
- Unclear whether users are notified if their information is transferred to a third party.
- Unclear whether user information can be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
- Unclear whether third-party transfers are contractually required to use the same privacy practices.
- Unclear whether user information that is shared is shared in an anonymous or de-identified format.
- Unclear whether the company describes their de-identification process of user information.
- Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
- Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying or de-identified information.
How safe is this product?
- Users can interact with trusted users.
- Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
- Profile information must be shared for social interactions.
- Personal information can be displayed publicly.
- Users can control how their data are displayed to others.
- User-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
- User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
- Social interactions between users are moderated.
- Social interactions of users are logged.
- Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
- Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
- Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
- Personalised advertising is displayed.
- Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
- User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
- Data profiles are created and used for personalised advertisements.
- The company can send marketing messages.
- The company does provide promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
- Users can opt out of contextual, or personalised advertising.
- Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Can I provide parental consent?
- Intended for children under 13.
- Personal information from children under 13 years of age is collected.
- Unclear whether intended for parents or guardians.
- Company does have actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
- The company does provide a section, heading, or separate policy for children in their policies.
- Unclear whether parental consent is required before personal information is collected or disclosed.
- Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
- Unclear whether this product allows parents to withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
- Children's personal information is deleted if collected without parental consent.
- Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
Is the product intended for school?
- Unclear whether intended for students.
- Unclear whether personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
- Unclear whether intended for teachers.
- Unclear whether this product is primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
- Processes to enter education records into the product are not described.
- Unclear whether additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
- Unclear whether the company is designated as a school official.
- Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations to the school or district.
Can I control the use of my data?
- Users can control the use of their information through privacy settings.
- Unclear whether use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
- The context or purpose for which data are collected is indicated.
- Company may combine data with additional data from third-party sources.
- Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
- Unclear whether notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
- Unclear whether consent is obtained if the practices in which data are collected change.
- A grievance or remedy mechanism is not available for users to file a complaint.
- Users can request to know what personal information has been shared with third parties.
- Notice is provided in the event the company receives a government or legal request for a user's information.
Common Sense Standard Privacy Report (SPR)
The standard privacy report (SPR) displays all the privacy practices from a product's policies in a single, easy-to-read outline. The report shows a green check mark for better privacy practices and an orange alert for risky or unclear practices. This alert indicates that more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.
About Privacy Evaluations
The privacy evaluations have been designed with the help and support of a consortium of schools and districts across the United States. These evaluations are designed to help educators make informed decisions about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.
Our core evaluation criteria will always be freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and our information security primer. Vendors are encouraged to use our questions and the information security primer to self-evaluate. You can also learn more about our evaluation process. Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.