TikTok tracked MAC (media access control) addresses – unique identifiers assigned to each Android device, which are often used for advertising purposes, and concealed its activity with an extra layer of encryption, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.
TikTok spokesperson said the company is committed to keeping users safe and recommends downloading the latest version of the app. Google noted that the current version does not collect MAC addresses.
Google's policy prevents apps from collecting device MAC addresses. However, a vulnerability exists on Android that allowed TikTok to bypass Google's privacy protection with an additional encryption layer. Google representatives said the company is investigating the situation but refused to comment on the system's vulnerability.
On August 8, it became known that the American microblogging service Twitter and the Chinese social media platform TikTok negotiated a possible merger. Twitter is only interested in the American segment of TikTok, but its cost can still be tens of billions of dollars.
According to media reports, Microsoft is ready to offer $30 billion for the social network, but the Chinese company ByteDance estimates TikTok at $50 billion.