As per reports from the Wall Street Journal, TikTok has collected Android user’s data by circumventing Google’s ad policies. It’s defined as the app’s old versions that have collected MAC addresses of users, which are unique identifiers for each handset. This was banned by Google and Apple, but TikTok did and stopped last year.
TikTok Collected More User Data Than Required
TikTok has been in the news since its inception. While it amazed experts about its rapid growth trends, it also surprised several security researchers for the intrusive data collection practices.
The Chinese short-video app has been banned by India over security reasons, and similar action is anticipated by Trump in the US. While this being the case, it was now reported with a new data collection allegation.
As per the Wall Street Journal analysis, TikTok from its 2018 versions, has collected the MAC address of its Android user’s phones until November 2019, where it pushed a new update to stop this practice.
The MAC address is a unique identifier for every handset and is banned from being collected by third-party apps by Google, and by Apple.
Instead, Google gives an anonymous advertiser ID for tracking, which can be reset by the user as per their choice. Whereas the MAC address cannot. Yet,
TikTok has been collecting this ID for over 15 months without informing the users, by exploiting a bug in Google’s framework. While TikTok’s spokesperson said they had stopped doing this from last year, Google said it’s investigating the incident and didn’t comment on a bug.
These kinds of reports against TikTok would push further to the dark hole, as it gradually loses its craze across the world with bans and sanctions. India’s ban has given rise to native clone apps for TikTok for Indian base, whereas in the US, Microsoft is in talks with TikTok and the federal government to acquire its US operations.