For over a year, the Chinese TikTok app has been able to collect user data from millions of Android mobile devices, which violated Google’s privacy policy.

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.

How to Bypass TikTok Ban in Case It Gets Blocked
Using a VPN to have access to TikTok will help you protect yourself, and your data will remain hidden so that no one could trace you.

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.

In early August, US President Donald Trump announced that Microsoft or another American company must buy TikTok by September 15. Otherwise, the application will be banned in the country.

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.