TikTok is alleged to have collected media access control (MAC) addresses on Android devices without the user’s consent. Although Google has previously banned this practice, TikTok continued to steal hardware data for more than a year.
How TikTok violated Google Play Store rules
By Wall Street Journal, Chinese TikTok monitored the MAC addresses of Android devices for at least 15 months. TikTok began using this tactic in 2018.
If you do not know what your MAC address is used for
IP and MAC addresses: where are they good?
, it is a unique hardware identifier for your device. This number can be used to search for and track your device while browsing the Internet.
You can’t change or reset your MAC address, which makes it useful for advertisers. Your MAC address allows advertisers to move customized ads based on the content you view.
In other words, TikTok probably stole MAC addresses for advertising purposes, which is against Google Play Store policies. Google Play console help This page clearly states Google’s advertising and MAC policies:
The ad tag may not be associated with permanent device tags (e.g. SSAID, MAC address, IMEI, etc.) for any advertising purpose. An ad tag may be associated with personally identifiable information only with the express consent of the user.
TikTok not only asked for users ’consent, but also used the encryption layer to cover up its operations. You can reset your ad ID in other applications if you wish, but because TikTok uses your MAC address, it is impossible to update it.
TikTok stopped collecting MAC addresses in November 2019. This is happening at the same time as TikTok began to receive strong criticism from several countries.
The TikTok controversy continues
TikTok, owned by ByteDance, is no stranger to controversy. Because the U.S. must ban the app because of the security threats it poses, ByteDance continues to insist that it has no abuse. That said it may be time delete your TikTok account
How to delete your TikTok account
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