How to prevent online applications from getting information about my device

gib65

Member
Hello,

I was reading Tiktok's privacy policy the other day and it says this:

"Technical Information we collect about you. We collect certain information about the device you use to access the Platform, such as your IP address, user agent, mobile carrier, time zone settings, identifiers for advertising purposes, model of your device, the device system, network type, device IDs, your screen resolution and operating system, app and file names and types, keystroke patterns or rhythms, battery state, audio settings and connected audio devices. Where you log-in from multiple devices, we will be able to use your profile information to identify your activity across devices. We may also associate you with information collected from devices other than those you use to log-in to the Platform."


So I'm wondering if there is a way to protect myself from online applications (Tiktok in this case but not just Tiktok) gathering information about my device. I know I can use a VPN service to hide my IP, and I do use a VPN service, but that won't protect me from online applications getting information like file names and types, keystroke patterns or rhythms, battery state, etc. Is there a way to stop online applications from getting this information from my device?
 

porterjw

Moderator
Staff member
Most apps will just want camera, contact, phone type, OS, etc. Provided its a legitimate app, the permissions are warranted (uploading a photo requires access to the camera/gallery, attaching a photo to a text requires access to your contacts to select the person to send it to, etc.) and harmless. You can block certain permissions, but the app in question will be limited in it's use.

Tiktok is one of the exceptions and is especially pervasive. Their permissions are no secret and have been criticized at length for a while now. Why anyone still uses it at all is absolutely beyond me. It's basically giving every single search, website visited, screen tap, and specific keyboard strokes (read: account name and password if logging in somewhere on a device it's installed on) to China.

Tiktok is one of those "hard no" apps that I will never ever use on any platform solely for the draconian permissions. But the teens love it because it's all about the number of likes... Use at your own extreme risk.
 

beers

Moderator
Staff member
Since it's an app on your device it can gather various information about it.

If you're just using the website on a computer they can issue you a tracking cookie as well as collect information such as addressing and user agent that your PC sends out in the HTTP header.

Tiktok is one of those "hard no" apps that I will never ever use on any platform
Same honestly, clearly seems to be Chinese owned and influenced.
 

Darren

Moderator
Staff member
If you have even a passing interest in security, don't use TikTok. I don't like that my fiance uses it for data collection reasons about myself or her. I can only assume it's got a shadow profile built out of who I am even though I've never touched it.
 
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