By Jack Wilson
Special to The Record
With all levels of government instructing employees to delete TikTok from their work phones, The Record met with Bishop’s University computer science professor Stefan Bruda to learn about the data social media apps can access.
On Feb. 28, the National Assembly sent out a press release stating it was banning TikTok from its devices “to prevent risks to institutional information.” The cities of Sherbrooke and Magog, as well as the federal government have implemented similar policies.
TikTok, alongside apps like Facebook and Google can collect location data, alongside microphone and camera inputs, Bruda said. Since these inputs don’t have “kill switches” allowing the user to shut them off, “they’re on all the time.”
For apps to access such data, users have to grant permissions. The phone’s software is responsible for denying information to unauthorized apps. But that doesn’t mean it always works. “Software can be subverted,” Bruda said.