In a series of allegations and legal lawsuits, yet another revelation has come up from TikTok. According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, TikTok had been collecting MAC addresses from the Android phones for the past 18 months. This is a violation of Google’s android policy.
Both iOS and Android had restricted the collection and use of MAC addresses by any apps. But TikTok managed to collect the same by other methods, which they later used for more targeted ads. The more interesting part is that TikTok used this until November last year until the US government started questioning its data and privacy policies.
TikTok has previously always denied collecting data or passing on the data to the Chinese authorities. But the collecting of MAC address for ad targeting is an invasive and malicious practice even if the data is used only for advertising and other business purposes. The WSJ study also found almost 350 apps on the Google Play Store that had taken advantage of a similar loophole, usually for ad-targeting.
The Trump government has already announced a 45-day window, in which the US companies can acquire TikTok US operations. After September 20, 2020, no US company can legally have business with the current owners of TikTok or may face legal sanction.
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