The TikTok application for Android collects the MAC (Media Access Control) addresses of its users over a period of 15 months, thus contravening the rules of the Google mobile operating system. This is clear from an investigation undertaken by The Wall Street Journal 玻利维亚电话号码列表.
Such addresses would have served the TikTok subsidiary, on whom both Microsoft and Twitter have set their eyes in recent days, as unique identifiers of the devices of each and every one of its users, thus being extraordinarily valuable both for advertising purposes as of «tracking» (in its most invasive aspect).
In 2015, both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store stopped the compilation of MAC addresses, addresses that TikTok continued to collect, taking advantage of a legal loophole, as collected by The Verge.
According to The Wall Street Journal, almost 350 apps from the Google Play Store would also use the same loophole (very useful for segmenting their advertising).
TikTok stopped implementing this practice in November of last year, a change that The Wall Street Journal attributes to increasing pressure from Washington on the Chinese app.
The Wall Street Journal revelations come at a critical time for TikTok
This revelation comes at an extraordinarily sensitive time for TikTok, whom President Donald Trump blames for his alleged connections to Beijing (with whom he would share data from US users).
Last week the White House issued an executive order to nip all types of transactions with ByteDance (the parent company of the Chinese app) in the bud as of September 20, when the sale of TikTok should be finalized (which would otherwise be prohibited on US soil).
The results of the investigation undertaken by The Wall Street Journal come to destroy the allegations of TikTok, which has always ensured that it does not collect more personal data than any other application.
Meanwhile, TikTok insists that it has already suspended this practice. “We are constantly updating our app to stay up-to-date with the ongoing security challenges we face. And the current version of TikTok does not collect MAC addresses, ”emphasizes a spokesperson for the application 社交帖子.