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Fears Chinese government is using social media to spy on Aussie teens

A Chinese-owned social media app with more than 1.6 million Australian users is raising cybersecurity concerns.

Short-form video platform TikTok, used predominately by teenagers and young adults, is owned by Beijing-based tech company ByteDance.

Author and public policy academic Clive Hamilton told George Moore ByteDance is required by law to comply with instructions from Chinese intelligence.

“It is a private company, and yet the government of China – particularly as it’s an internet company involved in social media and communication – keeps a close eye on it.

“[The Chinese government] has it’s own people within the company, including a cell of the Chinese Communist Party itself.”

The potential threat to national security and freedom of speech has sparked calls to have the app banned in Australia.

Mr Hamilton said the app is amassing the personal data of its users, including their names and birthdays.

“But also more worryingly, is possibly facial recognition data.

“Your face can be recognised by this advanced technology and then stored away in the database somewhere.”

“This is straight out of 1984 [by] George Orwell, isn’t it?” George commented.

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Image: Getty, TikTok