Tiktok was gaining important information from Android users by tricking Google


It is alleged that the TickTock Android app has collected unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices for at least 15 months since the release of an update in November last year. These unique identifiers, known as Media Access Control (MAC) addresses, are primarily used to serve personalized ads. This new information came to light when US President Donald Trump passed an order banning ticks in the country a few days ago. The application alleges that the Chinese Communist Party helped keep an eye on the US government.

The Wall Street Journal Report According to, the technique used by TickTock to collect MAC addresses for Android users violates Google’s policy. The platform, owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, is said to have finalized the strategy with an update released on November 18.

In 2013, Apple banned third-party application developers from collecting Mac addresses for iPhone users. Google pursued that lawsuit in 2015 and banned the app on Google Play from collecting “Personally Identifiable Device Identifier” with users’ MAC address and IMEI numbers. However, Tiktok has resorted to “circuit ways” and used a different strategy to circumvent Google’s ban.

The timing of this discovery is quite interesting, as the Indian government banned tickets in late June and the US is also looking to repeat the move. An order passed by the U.S. president last week could remove the app from both the Apple App Store and Google Play, as well as make advertising on the platform illegal. On the other hand, companies like Microsoft are showing interest in harnessing TickTock’s global operations in order to use its unique presence in the TickTock market.

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