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TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform, collects location information on its users, which now total over one billion.

TikTok says it collects the data “based on your device or network information, such as SIM card and IP address.” It also uses GPS data from a user’s device if the user enables Location Services.

The data are at least 1.16 square miles from your actual location, according to TikTok. It says it gathers the data to show users videos that are popular in their area and more relevant ads.

Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers recently banned TikTok on state-issued devices over cybersecurity concerns shared by the FBI and other federal agencies, joining 23 other states.

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican representing Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional district, introduced legislation to ban TikTok from the U.S. in December.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


TikTok: Thanks a billion!

TikTok: Location information on TikTok

Governor Tony Evers: Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order Banning TikTok, Other Technologies from State-Issued Devices

AP News: EXPLAINER: List of states banning TikTok grows

Congressman Mike Gallagher: Gallagher, Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Ban TikTok

US Congress: S.5245 – ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act117th Congress (2021-2022)

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Tom Kertscher / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.