Journalist Emily Baker-White explains how she became a target of TikTok surveillance

Listen | 22:36

TikTok is a laugh – an endless stream of funny videos and a platform for all sorts of entertainment with more than half a billion downloads last year.

But officials in several democratic states aren’t seeing the funny side of this Chinese-owned app anymore, with growing concern about privacy issues, the security of users’ data and the sheer reach of the app into people’s lives.

Workplace bans are coming thick and fast – in the EU parliament and the BBC, for example - while governments in Denmark, Belgium and Canada have all forbidden staff to have TikTok on their work phones.

In the US, the Biden administration is considering an all-out ban on TikTok with the company’s CEO Shou Zi Chew facing a grilling from lawmakers at a congressional hearing last week.


With more and more bans and restrictions being placed on the app over security concerns, will Ireland be next? And should we be?

US journalist Emily Baker-White tells In the News about her experience of being tracked by TikTok and why the massive global popularity of the app is at the heart of the issue, while data strategy consultant Darragh O Brien considers the issue from an Irish perspective.

Presenter: Bernice Harrison. Producer: Suzanne Brennan.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast