Senator calls for Google to ban TikTok after allegedly tracking user data

TikTok is as soon as once more below fireplace.

James Martin/CNET

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, is asking on Google to remove TikTok from its platform after the social video app allegedly tracked user data by sidestepping a privacy safeguard in Android, in keeping with a Tuesday report by The Wall Road Journal. TikTok collected “distinctive identifiers from thousands and thousands of cellular units, knowledge that permits the app to trace customers on-line with out permitting them to choose out,” the report says. 

These identifiers gathered by the corporate are referred to as MAC addresses, and so they’re sometimes used for promoting, in keeping with the Journal. This newest hypothesis in opposition to TikTok comes after President Donald Trump issued an executive order final week that might successfully ban the app in the US subsequent month.

“The unfold in the USA of cellular functions developed and owned by firms within the Folks’s Republic of China continues to threaten the nationwide safety, overseas coverage, and financial system of the USA,” the executive order reads. “Right now, motion should be taken to handle the menace posed by one cellular software particularly, TikTok.”

The tactic was reportedly hidden utilizing a further layer of encryption, and was executed with out the information of TikTok customers. The corporate reportedly ended the follow in November.

“We’re dedicated to defending the privateness and security of the TikTok neighborhood,” a TikTok consultant stated. “We consistently replace our app to maintain up with evolving safety challenges, and the present model of TikTok doesn’t gather MAC addresses. We have now by no means given any US consumer knowledge to the Chinese language authorities nor would we achieve this if requested. We at all times encourage our customers to obtain essentially the most present model of TikTok.”

A Google consultant stated the corporate is investigating the claims.

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