Technology, Business

August 12, 2020

TikTok has been secretly gathering user data

Source: Unsplash (Sergio Souza) 

The Gist

It has been confirmed that TikTok has been gathering data from Android users in violation of Google's policies. 

The List

  • TikTok has been collecting the MAC addresses of Android users for at least 1 5 months during 2018 and 2019. 
  • A MAC address is a code unique to every mobile device, making it personally identifiable information which is off limits for apps by United States law. 
  • Apple blocked apps from accessing MAC addresses in 2013 and Google did the same in 2015, but TikTok developers found a "back door" which allowed them to collect the data despite the restrictions in place. 
  • The finding comes shortly after Donald Trump signed an executive order which will see the app banned in mid-September if not purchased by a US company. 

Additional information

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