TikTok

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok tracked Android users’ device identifiers until late last year
TikTok tracked Android users’ device identifiers until late last year
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday TikTok’s Android app collected its users’ MAC addresses for 18 months in violation of the platform rules. The MAC address serves as a unique identifier for each user’s device.

Since 2015, both the App Store and the Google Play Store had banned the collection of MAC addresses as a matter of policy, but the video app used a loophole. According to the Journal, nearly 350 apps on the Google Play Store used a similar loophole, generally for ad-targeting purposes.

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok announces plans to sue Trump Administration over ban
TikTok announces plans to sue Trump Administration over ban
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The video-sharing app hugely popular with the smartphone generation will file the federal lawsuit as soon as Tuesday, according to a person who was directly involved in the forthcoming suit but was not authorized to speak for the company.

It also alleges that the administration's national security justification for the order is baseless, according to the source.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump signs executive order banning business between U.S. citizens and TikTok from in 45 days on
Trump signs executive order banning business between U.S. citizens and TikTok from in 45 days on
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Logo TikTok

The president of the United States Donald Trump has followed through with his announcement to make a move against the social media application TikTok with the help of an executive order. In the signed executive order, Trump outlaws all transactions between ByteDance, which is the parent company of TikTok, and citizens of the United States. The reason for that are national security concerns according to Trump.

The outlined transaction ban in the executive order will become effective in 45 days and most likely prevent the application from being downloaded or updated.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US Senate bans TikTok from phones owned by government
US Senate bans TikTok from phones owned by government
Credit: Solen Feyissa (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a unanimous decision, the senate of the United States has decided that the social media app TikTok will be banned from all government-owned devices.

This step comes after President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to ban the app for everyone in the United States.

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok announces new data centre in Ireland to store European user data
TikTok announces new data centre in Ireland to store European user data
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

TikTok announced Thursday it would invest €420million in establishing a data centre in Ireland. The company states all European user data will be stored in this new location when the data centre is operational in early 2022.

In a press release, the company states: "Protecting our community's privacy and data is and will continue to be our priority. Today's announcement is just the latest part of our ongoing work to enhance our global capability and efforts to protect our users and the TikTok community."

Technology • Internet & Web
Apple states it has no interest in buying TikTok
Apple states it has no interest in buying TikTok
Credit: Solen Feyissa

Apple Inc has no interest in acquiring TikTok, a company spokesperson told Axios, denying an earlier report published by Axios, citing Apple has expressed interest in buying the ByteDance-owned firm.

Microsoft is currently negotiating a deal to acquire the popular short-video app, with a 45-day deadline imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Technology • Internet & Web
Microsoft to continue discussions on potential TikTok purchase in the United States
Microsoft to continue discussions on potential TikTok purchase in the United States
Credit: Aaron Weiss

The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets. Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.

Technology • Internet & Web
Trump states he plans on banning TikTok in the United States
Trump states he plans on banning TikTok in the United States
Credit: unsplash.com / Kon Karampelas

During an Air Force One flight from Florida to Washington, President Donald Trump has stated that "as far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States". He added that he has the authority to issue such ban through an executive order, but has yet to follow through on his statement.

Technology • Internet & Web
Japan likely to ban TikTok for alleged sharing of domestic user data with Chinese Government
Japan likely to ban TikTok for alleged sharing of domestic user data with Chinese Government
Credit: unsplash.com/visuals

According to the Japanese national broadcaster NHK, Japan is seeking to ban TikTok for the app's alleged sharing of domestic user data with the Chinese Government. A group of lawmakers has proposed the ban of several in China developed apps which will most likely be submitted to the government by September. Early this year, India banned several Chinese apps, including TikTok, WeChat and others.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US Senate committee approves TikTok ban bill
US Senate committee approves TikTok ban bill
Credit: Solen Feyissa

The "No TikTok on Government Devices Act" bill by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) was unanimously approved bu the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The bill states U.S. federal employees would be barred from using Chinese-owned mobile video app TikTok on government-issued devices.

The bill now moves to the Senate floor.

Technology • Internet & Web
South Korea fines TikTok for mishandling children's data
South Korea fines TikTok for mishandling children's data
Credit: unsplash.com / Solen Feyissa

The social network platform TikTok has been fined around $154.000 for mishandling data of children in South Korea. According to the Korea Communications Commission that issued the fine, the data of children under 14 years old has been collected without the required consent of their legal guardians.

In addition to the collection, the data had been transferred overseas without the permission or disclosure to the users.

Technology • Internet & Web
Wells Fargo tells workers to delete TikTok, citing privacy concerns
TikTok logo
TikTok logo Credit: TikTok

Wells Fargo, United States fourth-largest bank, has instructed employees who installed TikTok on company devices to remove the app over privacy concerns.

“We have identified a small number of Wells Fargo employees with corporate-owned devices who had installed the TikTok application on their device,” Wells Fargo said in a statement to NBC News. “Due to concerns about TikTok’s privacy and security controls and practices, and because corporate-owned devices should be used for company business only, we have directed those employees to remove the app from their devices.”

Technology • Internet & Web
Amazon rolls back ban of TikTok from employee phones
Amazon rolls back ban of TikTok from employee phones
Credit: Kon Karampelas

Five hours after requiring employees to delete TikTok from their mobile devices, Amazon backtracked saying the email to workers had been sent by mistake.

A spokesperson for the company said, "This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error, there is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.".

Technology • Internet & Web
Amazon demands employees to remove TikTok from their phones citing security risks
Amazon demands employees to remove TikTok from their phones citing security risks
Credit: Kon Karampelas

The New York Times reports Amazon officials, in a memo, required employees to delete TikTok from any mobile devices that "access Amazon email.". The removal is due to "security risks" posed by the app.

According to the memo, workers are still allowed to user TikTok from their laptop browser.

Regional News • Asia • China
Tik Tok will exit Hong Kong following new security law
Tik Tok will exit Hong Kong following new security law
Credit: Kon Karampelas

TikTok plans to pull out of the Hong Kong market after China imposed a new security law on the city that gives authorities sweeping new powers, raising concerns about data privacy.

A spokesman for the company told BBC: "In light of recent events, we've decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,".

Other companies including Google, Facebook, Telegram and Twitter have suspended processing government access requests for user data in Hong Kong.

Regional News • Asia • India
India bans TikTok, WeChat and 57 other Chinese apps
iPhone displaying the TikTok app
iPhone displaying the TikTok app Credit: Kon Karampelas

The Ministry of Information Technology of India announced Monday the ban of 59 Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok and WeChat. In a press release, the Ministry, states the ban is a response "of the emergent nature of threats" and that the apps "are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.".

At the moment, all listed apps are still available on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store, and it is not clear how the Indian Government plans to enforce the ban.

Technology • Internet & Web
Instagram launches TikTok clone "Reels" in Germany and France
Instagram launches TikTok clone "Reels" in Germany and France
Credit: unsplash.com / Georgia de Lotz

The Reels feature has previously been tested in Brazil and has now been made accessible to users in France and Germany. Embedded in the Instagram stories, Reels enables users to record short 15-second video clips with music or other audio similar to TikTok. Reels offers various editing tools such as a countdown timer, the option to compile a video out of short snippets and to adjust the speed.