The Chinese-owned, short-video social media platform TikTok - long popular with younger people - is creating more and more controversy as it crosses over into the mainstream.
In January, the US military barred its soldiers from using the app over its close ties to China and security concerns, urging soldiers and their dependents to delete it.
And last week India banned TikTok, and 58 other Chinese apps, as a threat to its national sovereignty. The allegation is that TikTok and various other apps are effectively being used for surveillance by the Chinese government.
TikTok is owned by a Beijing-based company called ByteDance, but is only available outside of China - and its chairman, ex-Disney executive Kevin Mayer, is an American (Mayer is also COO of ByteDance).
Mayer wrote in a letter to the Indian government that the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked.
Nevertheless, suspicions continue to linger. over the wildly popular TikTok, which has gained around 800 million users worldwide (ex-China, of course) since it launched in August 2018.
Overnight came reports that the Australian government's Foreign Interference through Social Media senate enquiry would address suspicions the app might be collecting user data and sending it back to China.
Committee chairwoman Senator Jenny McAllister said she was hopeful TikTok will comply with the request and appear before an inquiry.
It also states that TikTok processes information about your followers, the likes you receive and the responses to content you upload for the purposes of serving personalised advertising and alert users about new services.
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Collection of such information is par for the course. A Herald investigation recently highlighted Facebook and other US social media platform's sweeping collection of personal information. The chief difference with TikTok is, perhaps, simply that it's owned by a company in China, not the US.
Two complaints in NZ
Here, GCSB Minister Andrew Little did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokesman for Privacy Commissioner John Edwards' office said it had fielded two complaints about people using TikTok and posting video of other people without their consent.
"In both cases, it was not the platform that was the issue. It was the unsolicited filming of others - and assumed publication of the video," the spokesman said.
But in most cases, you can film others. A Privacy Commissioner general advisory on social says:
"If you post personal information about others as a private individual, you probably will not be breaching the Privacy Act.
"This is because the Privacy Act generally does not apply to domestic matters. The exception to this - under section 56 of the Privacy Act - is if the subject matter is "highly offensive to an ordinary reasonable person".
The fact that posting personal details about another person may not be a Privacy Act breach does not mean that you can do so without any consequences, however, because you could still fall foul of other laws.
"The Harmful Digital Communications Act sets out principles to prevent harm from certain online behaviours such as cyberbullying, spreading personal information and so on.
Depending on the information, and what you do with it, there might also be consequences under the Harassment Act, or you could be sued under the common law for breach of privacy, or a breach of confidence.
Similarly, a private individual leaving a comment after a social media post in unlikely to breach the Privacy Act - unless the content is "likely to be highly offensive to a reasonable person".
And Edwards adds that whatever the law, you're best off exercising simple courtesy: "if you're taking photos of your friends, you should check with them before publishing or posting the photos online. Think about how you'd feel if someone published photos of you without asking if you were okay with it."
A revamp of the Privacy Act, coming into force on December 1, maintains the same principles around social media posts by individuals.