APP of THE WEEK

TIK­TOK (iOS and An­droid, free with in-app pur­chases)

Llanelli Star - - TECH NOW -

TIK­TOK is one of the most pop­u­lar so­cial net­works in the world, with an es­ti­mated 500 mil­lion users world­wide.

Yet, un­like most of my apps of the week, this one comes as a warn­ing, not nec­es­sar­ily a recommenda­tion.

Tik­Tok has al­ready faced in­ves­ti­ga­tions in other coun­tries, and even been fined in the US for col­lect­ing data from chil­dren un­der 13 with­out parental con­sent. It’s now be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for GDPR vi­o­la­tions in the UK.

It’s a fairly sim­ple videoshar­ing app – you record your­self, usu­ally for up to 15 sec­onds, and post. You can fol­low oth­ers, like and share.

The videos are usu­ally set to a tune from the list they used to call the hit pa­rade.

It’s very pop­u­lar with un­der-16s, and as such, has kind of gone un­der the radar for a lot of par­ents.

That is per­haps why oth­ers have raised some con­cerns about Tik­Tok be­ing used by those who may have an un­healthy in­ter­est in chil­dren – the NSPCC has sug­gested in re­search that it is used by adults to groom un­der-16s.

It’s a very pol­ished app, and its Chi­nese mak­ers have pots of cash to play with – so even though it doesn’t make any money, nei­ther will it be go­ing away soon.

Rather than sug­gest­ing you don’t use it all, I would rec­om­mend check­ing on whether your chil­dren are.

And if they are, make sure they are do­ing so safely…

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