Contradictions between public perception of privacy and corporate privacy policy: A case study of TikTok

Date created: 
Katherine Reilly
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Artificial intelligence
Big data
Platform economy
Privacy perception
Business practices
Systematic review
Discourse analysis

While artificial intelligence and big data technology are booming in the platform economy, it is hard to ignore how the business practices that take up these technologies are changing people’s perceptions of privacy and the implications lying beneath these practices. This paper used a systematic review and discourse analysis, respectively, to contrast how individuals perceive privacy with corporate privacy claims. Based on these results, the paper describes and analyzes the contradictions at play between personal and corporate relationships to privacy. Based on a case study of TikTok’s privacy policy, the study finds that people are generally not aware of the consequences of TikTok’s collection and use of personal data, and an unequal relationship has been established between the company and its users through business practice. I argued that protecting personal privacy should be considered as a part of people’s subjectivity which should not be harmed, while the centralization of information and knowledge is putting people’s subjectivity in greater danger than at any previous time.

Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.
Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
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