Recently, Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri has asked Google to remove TikTok from its platform. He has taken this step after this social video-making app has allegedly tracked user data from the Android devices.
According to the recent report of the Wall Street Journal, TikTok has collected the “unique identifiers” from millions of phones. This data allows the app to track users’ online activities without even allowing them to opt-out. A few months back TikTok violated child protection laws. And now it violates Google’s data collection policy.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a famous Chinese video-sharing and social networking service. This app is used to create short music, lip-synced videos, dance clips, comedy, and talent videos of around 3 to 15 seconds. You can also make short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.
On August 3, 2020, US President Donald Trump warned to ban TikTok in the United States. He has signed two executive orders banning all the US “transactions” with TikTok and WeChat to its parent company ByteDance.
Additionally, TikTok is a controversial app. It is one of the most trending teen apps these days. This platform has been accused of having in-appropriate content, hate-driven videos, and legal issues such as data collection, third-party trade-offs, and violation of a child’s law.
That’s why across the globe parents are using Bit Guardian Parental Control. This child monitoring app ensures child-friendly content in kids’ devices. It is considered as one of the best app blocker for Android devices. You can easily block apps like TikTok on your kids’ device to keep them safe.
What Are “Unique Identifiers”?
According to the Journal, TikTok collects user’s information from their Android smartphones without their consent. Such data is known as “unique identifiers”. These identifiers gathered by the company are collectively known as MAC addresses.
Further, these data are typically used for advertising. However, TikTok has reportedly hidden (using an additional layer of encryption) its tactics of collecting user’s data. And the company gathered all the data without the knowledge of its users. It reportedly ended the practice in November.
What raises a global concern is the child’s safety on different online platforms. There are many online portals, apps, and links that risk a child’s virtual life. A few months back the famous chatting platform Omegle sidestepped child safety. Omegle for kids turned out to be a risky platform. And now TikTok uses user’s data for advertising.
What Is TikTok’s Answer To Allegation?
TikTok’ s legal representative said they never collected any MAC addresses. They constantly update the app with growing security challenges. The current version of the app does not collect any user data. They also said that the app has never given any US user data to the Chinese government.
However, Google representatives are still investigating the claims. The whole incident has left us in a doubt if TikTok is really safe to use?