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Tik Tok: Terms of Use You Didn’t Read

woman reading through tik tok terms of use

Terms of Use You Didn’t Read is back and this month I’m looking at Tik Tok’s Terms of Use. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better idea of the terms that you agree to by using Tik Tok, what data they’re really using to track you, and how it compares to other social media platforms and the data that they collect on you.

What Tik Tok’s Terms of Use Say About Music

The first thing that stood out to me in Tik Tok’s Terms of Use was regarding music. Obviously, music and sound recordings play a huge part in using Tik Tok, whether it’s dancing or lip synching, or just using music in the background.

Here’s what Tik Tok has to say about music and sound recordings:

No rights are licensed with respect to sound recordings and musical works embodied therein that are made available from or through the service.

Tik Tok Terms of Service, Paragraph 7

Tik Tok also says that if you don’t own the rights to the musical composition and the sound recording, you may not upload that music to Tik Tok. It also says that if you create a musical work of some kind, or any kind of sound recording, whether you’re speaking or singing, that by uploading it to Tik Tok you allow all other users of Tik Tok to edit, manipulate, create a new recording based on that recording.

Data and Tik Tok’s Privacy Policy

Now let’s dive into the Privacy Policy. Privacy policies, of course, talk about what data a company collects, how they collect it, and how it’s used. The data collected by Tik Tok falls under three categories. One is information that you choose to provide to them; two, information that they collect from other sources; and three, information that they collect automatically.

Information You Choose to Provide

It should not surprise you Tik Tok collects information that you choose to provide; you are choosing to provide that information.

Let’s compare Tik Tok to Facebook, though. In creating your profile with Tik Tok, you might enter your email address or phone number, you might upload a photo, and then of course, you upload whatever content you upload through the platform. With Facebook, you’re uploading your photo, or multiple, multiple photos, and videos, your profile information, which can contain anything from your high school to your mother, who might have her maiden name up there. (Can you say, security question information?)

So in terms of privacy concerns with apps, that’s a big thing to think about — what information do you voluntarily upload to the platform? Again, Tik Tok has your face and your video and content that you upload through the platform, but the profile is very basic. You might have a link to your other social media platforms, a very short bio and your photo. Facebook has a lot more information. This is something to remember when you’re using any social media platform, but especially in comparing Tik Tok to other platforms.

Info Tik Tok Collects from Other Sources

Information that they collect from other sources can be information from social media platforms. If you connect your Facebook account to Tik Tok, for example, it might also collect your contacts on Facebook so that you can find your friends who are also on Tik Tok.

They might collect your information from third party services like advertisers.

They might collect information from you from other “publicly available sources.”

Info Tik Tok Collects Automatically

Information Tik Tok collects automatically can be usage information, device information, location data, messages, metadata, and cookies.

Usage information can be information like how long you stay on the app, what you like and what you favorite while you’re in the app — the type of information that relates to how you are using it. (So does Facebook.)

Device information. This is not just the type of phone that you use to log into the place form, but also your IP address, your mobile carrier, your timezone settings, keystroke patterns or rhythms, and file names and types. (Fb tracks this, too.)

Messages. Obviously they can scan and view messages that are sent within the app. (Facebook is notorious for this as well.)

Cookies are primarily used to track what webpages you’re clicking on, and to send targeted advertisements your way. You can disable cookies in the Tik Tok settings. Tons of sites track cookies, and, thanks to Europe, it’s now common to see an “opt-in to cookies” pop-up bar the first time you visit a website.

Is Tik Tok Scanning Your Device for Payment Information?

There’s nothing in this Privacy Policy about going into your phone and collecting credit card information. Note, though, that if you choose to upload credit card information or, for example, PayPal information, to the platform, that’s information that you’re voluntarily giving to Tik Tok. That’s one of the rumors out there that Tik Tok is crawling your phone and stealing your credit card numbers. I do not see that in this Privacy Policy.

How Tik Tok Uses Your Information

This section looks pretty standard. They use it to fulfill requests for products and services, to customize the content you see, to send promotional materials, to improve and develop the platform to measure effectiveness of advertising, make suggestions and provide customized ad experience, blah, blah, blah.

And, if you’re curious, here’s a little comparison or example of how Facebook tracks your activities on other websites.

What You Can Do If Tik Tok’s Tracking Makes You Nervous

So, what do you do if you’re uncomfortable with some of these privacy practices? Like I mentioned, you can disable cookies, that’s a setting in Tik Tok. Apple and Android devices allow you to limit ad tracking within your settings and switch off location tracking on your device as well so that Tik Tok doesn’t have access to that information. These are all things that you can do (and maybe should do!) with regard to a lot of social media platforms.

So I hope that gives you a better understanding of Tik Tok, the terms you agree to when you’re using Tik Tok, and the data that Tik Tok has on you.

Keep on creating that great content!

Canva: Terms of Use You Didn’t Read

Let’s talk about Canva! Terms of Use You Didn’t Read is back and we’re going to talk through just a couple of interesting terms that I found when looking through Canva’s terms of use. Remember, these are things that you’ve agreed to by using Canva.

I found some real treasure when reading these terms! There’s a term in Canva’s Free Media License Agreement that applies to how you can use some of the stock photos and imagery within Canva.


Plain-English gold star

First of all, like Pinterest, Canva gives a plain-English explanation of provisions in its terms of use so, gold star to Canva.

The many faces (or pages) to Canva’s Terms of Use

There’s more to its policies than just Canva’s Terms of Use. The policies are made up of several different pages or sub-policies, including a Contributor Agreement and a Free Media License Agreement. The Contributor Agreement applies to any designers that submit their work to be a part of Canva’s offering, whether it’s a template or photograph. And then there’s the Free Media License Agreement.

This is super important. So, if you use any of that free media, like stock photos or graphic art, here’s what Canva has to say about using that free stuff.

a selection from canva's terms of use

Yowza.

So, again. If you’re using anything with an identifiable person, with a logo, that reflects a certain place, Canva, here, is saying that they can’t guarantee they have the appropriate rights for you to use those things in a commercial or business setting. So that is important if you are using Canva in connection with your business.

By publishing on the platform, you’re giving permission to display

Next, simple, if you publish your designs in Canva, then you allow Canva to publish those for others to view.

Canva’s Terms of Use sheds light on what happens to media you’ve used if you cancel your paid account

I was curious about this, since I recently started dabbling in Canva myself. Obviously when you have a paid or “Pro” account, you have access to more things and you can do more within the platform. But what happens if you close your account or you cancel your membership to Canva? What happens to the designs that you created with media that were, say, “Pro” only, but you plan to still pin those pins or use those graphics on Instagram? Can you do that even though you don’t have your account any longer?

The answer is yes, of course, anything that you created under a valid, paid plan, you can still continue to use.

But, if there was some kind of invalid transaction, they couldn’t charge you during that period where that thing was created, you don’t have rights to use it.

Big Brother/Canva is watching

Finally, Canva has the right to monitor anything you import or export from its platform to make sure that you’re complying with its terms of use.


I hope this kind of opens your eyes on things that you’ve agreed to by using Canva, especially with regard to that Free Media License,.


Hey, online business owner! I’ve got a little something for you. Learn four things that you can do RIGHT now to protect your business online — one thing delivered to your inbox for four weeks — by clicking the image below.

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Pinterest: Terms of Use You Didn’t Read

woman reading through pinterest terms of use

This month’s “Terms of Use You Didn’t Read” focuses on Pinterest and the terms of use that you’ve agreed to by using Pinterest.


Pinterest Terms of Use: More Simply Put

First, the these Terms of Use use a really cool thing that I’ve actually considered doing in some of the contracts that I write. They have a “more simply put” section under each section in their Terms of Use. This is basically two or three sentences that explain the paragraph in easy to use language. You’ll have to check it out yourself I think it’s very helpful for people when they are actually reading the Terms of Use.

Pinterest’s Business Requirements

Next in Pinterest Terms of Use you will see that if you are using Pinterest in connection with a business, you must create a business account and agree to Pinterest’s Business Terms.

Who Owns the Content You Post to Pinterest?

Pinterest’s stance on copyright ownership of content is pretty clear. They say you own everything that you post to Pinterest, but you give Pinterest permission to share it on the website. By posting, you also give users permission to save it to their boards and save that content. But, it’s still yours — the content that you post is still yours.

What Happens if you Delete Content

Next, Pinterest wants to make sure you understand that if you delete content it might remain on users’ boards; in other words users might have saved that content. Even though you deleted it it might remain on users boards because they’ve saved a copy. The ol’ what happens on the internet stays on the Internet conundrum.

Limitation of liability.

Remember my discussion about limitation of liability in my post about the WordPress Terms of Use? Essentially, if you have a claim against Pinterest for breach of the Terms of Use, then the most you’re going to get out of them is a hundred bucks.

Pinterest Terms of Use Explains Third-Party Links

Finally Pinterest has the best ever explanation of third-party content that I’ve seen on a Terms of Use. Usually a website’s Terms of Use will talk about third-party content and third-party links; in other words links to sites that are controlled by someone that isn’t the owner of the platform. Usually those terms of use say “we don’t take any responsibility for the content found at those third-party links or the privacy practices of those third parties” (etc.)

The “more simply put” two-sentence explanation of that section is:

Pinterest Terms of Use explanation of third-party links

Pretty straightforward, huh?

I hope this gives you a little sneak peek on the Terms of Use that you’ve agreed to by using Pinterest.

Hey, online business owner! I’ve got a little something for you. Learn four things that you can do RIGHT now to protect your business online — one thing delivered to your inbox for four weeks — by clicking the image below.