The source code for Tik Tok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin is no more intrusive than that of other social media apps, a report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab found.
In the report, released Monday, researchers found no evidence that either app collects user data without the permission of its users.
The report did fault Douyin for employing censorship of various political terms, while the report’s finding as to whether Tik Tok did the same was “inconclusive.”
Researchers also noted that Tik Tok contains some so-called dormant code originally used in Douyin, which they said could potentially be used to turn on “China-specific” features such as server-side search censorship, though this finding could not be proven.
The Hill has reached out to Tik Tok for comment.
The popular video-sharing app came under legal jeopardy during the Trump administration after the White House moved to ban it, citing national security reasons. However, that ban never went into effect while the company vowed to fight it in court.
In December, a federal judge blocked the ban, resulting in Trump administration attorneys filing an appeal later that same month.
It was reported in February that the Biden administration had shelved plans to force the Chinese firm ByteDance to sell the app while the U.S. reviews the app’s alleged security risks.