TikTok used loopholes for collecting MAC addresses on Android
Category: #tech  By Nikita Chaurasia  Date: 2020-08-13
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TikTok used loopholes for collecting MAC addresses on Android

According to reliable sources, the Chinese video sharing platform TikTok reportedly made use of a known defect to get around Android protections to track MAC addresses of its users. The investigation, which was reportedly carried out by Wall Street Journal, analyzed the type of information TikTok had been tracking since 2018.

Wall Street Journal revealed that TikTok collected its users MAC addresses and information for over 18 months. These MAC addresses would have apparently provided a unique identifier of every user’s device that makes them valuable for tracking and advertising purposes.

It is to be noted that both Google Play Store and iOS had banned apps from collecting MAC addresses in the year 2015, as a matter of privacy policy. Despite this, TikTok was still able to obtain them using a loophole in Android Protection. According to the WSJ, around 350 apps on Google Play Store take advantage of a similar loophole for ad-targeting purposes.

TikTok claimed that its app does not collect MAC addresses or additional data than any standard mobile app. The company mentioned that it had discontinued this practice of collecting user information in November 2019 and regularly updates its app to keep up with changing security ecosystem.

However, Wall Street Journal’s recent revelation showcased that the Chinese video sharing platform collected MAC addresses, which is an illegal invasion of user’s privacy and a violation of Android’s regulations.

For those unfamiliar, White House recently issued an executive order to cut off all transactions with the company and is likely to ban it in the United States.

With all eyes on the controversy surrounding the video sharing app, the American multinational technology giant Microsoft recently announced that it plans to acquire TikTok’s businesses in leading countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and in the U.S.

Source Credits –

https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-device-identifier-001349466.html

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About Author

Nikita Chaurasia    

Nikita Chaurasia

Having always been daft at wordplay, Nikita Chaurasia, post the completion of post-graduation, commenced her journey into the content generation cosmos. Endowed with a professional MBA degree in Advertising and Public Relations, Nikita strives to integrate her creativ...

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