It’s the social media app taking the world by storm, but Reddit’s cofounder and CEO Steve Huffman didn’t have kind words for the hottest app made in China. Speaking at the Social 2030 conference, which TechCrunch reports aims to spot trends in social media that will shape the next 10 years, Huffman weighed in when asked if startups had something to learn from TikTok:
Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with them. Because I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.
The Reddit CEO later added: “I actively tell people, ‘Don’t install that spyware on your phone.'”
While Huffman’s words are harsh, he’s not alone in his criticism of the app. Tiktok has been under siege from all sides by privacy advocates for its data collection policies. Last year the company got hit by a $5.7 million fine from the FTC for illegally collecting children’s data. Since then the app is even reported to be under National Security review to see if it’s a threat to American interests.
In response to Fast Company’s request for a comment on Huffman’s remarks, a TikTok spokesperson replied: “These are baseless accusations made without a shred of evidence.”