Senator Josh Hawley is calling on Google to ban TikTok following revelations the app sidestepped Android safety measures to track users.
TikTok has stumbled from one privacy issue to another. It’s been sued for allegedly uploading videos to Chinese servers without consent, it has abused the privacy of children and been accused of rampant censorship. The social media app’s woes have contributed to the Trump administration threatening to ban it if a deal cannot be reached to sell it to a US company.
In the latest revelation, TikTok sidestepped a safeguard in Android to collect unique identifiers for at least 15 months. This gave the company the ability to track users, giving them no recourse or way to opt out.
Senator Hawley is calling on Google to ban the app as a result.
TikTok skirted a privacy safeguard in Google’s Android OS to collect unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices, data that allows them to track users online without allowing them to opt out.
Sen. Hawley is calling for Google to ban @tiktok_us from its platform.
— Senator Hawley Press Office (@SenHawleyPress) – August 11, 2020
One thing is clear: Even if a US company is able to purchase TikTok, it will have its work cut out regaining the trust the beleaguered platform has lost.