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TikTok, other Chinese social media platforms to display user locations and no opt-out option


TikTok and other Chinese social media platforms now plan to show users’ locations without people’s consent. What makes this privacy issue worse is that the display of personal information is impossible to turn off.

(Photo: Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
A man surfs the internet in Beijing June 15, 2009. The designers of controversial internet filtering software that China ordered with all new computers said they were trying to fix security problems in the program in the latest blow plans to include the filtering software with all PCs sold in China from July 1.

This sudden change is quite unusual since the central government of the Asian country does not need platforms to track the real locations of their users.

Such has been the situation in China in recent years – even when the Chinese government has tightened regulatory oversight on the internet.

TikTok, other Chinese SocMed platforms to display user’s address?

According to South China Morning PostIn its latest report, China’s internet watchdog, CAC (Cyberspace Administration of China), announced that 2022 will be the year online platforms are cleaned of rumors and other unproven content.

TikTok, other Chinese social media platforms to display user locations - and it can't be disabled

(Photo: Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
In this photo illustration, a mobile phone displaying the logos of Chinese apps WeChat and TikTok can be seen in front of a screen displaying the flags of the United States and China on a webpage, on September 22, 2020 in Beijing, China. The two popular Chinese apps face bans under an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump.

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Although displaying user location is still not mandated by the government, various social media companies have decided to make their own move. ByteDance, the owner of Tiktok, said its news aggregator, Jinri Toutiao, will soon track user locations.

Besides ByteDance, other companies, such as Douyin (owner of Kuaishou, TikTok’s rival video platform), and lifestyle community site called Xiaohongsu, have announced that they will be the same.

Displaying user locations is not really new in China. Recently, Weibo has also done the same by offering the addresses of individuals who share fake news.

Should we be alarmed?

Although many Chinese social media sites announced that they would display users’ locations even without their consent, they made it clear that the province’s address would be displayed.

If you are in other countries, only the region or country you are in will be displayed. This means that your exact address will not be tracked.

How to Geek also explained that IP addresses will not display the exact physical address of users.

Meanwhile, four new TikTok features were recently released.

Previously, some users shared disappointments with the new TikTok profile history view feature.

For more news on TikTok and other social media platforms, always keep your tabs open here on TechTimes.

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This article belongs to TechTimes

Written by: Griffin Davis

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