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Moran urges FTC to investgate TikTok

(AP Photo/File)
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 5:45 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senators Jerry Moran and John Thune are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok’s consumer data collection and processing practices.

Senator Jerry Moran says he and Senator John Thune are calling on Charman Joseph Simons of the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok’s consumer data collection and processing practices. He says they are also seeking specific answers related to allegations from a Wall Street Journal article that described TikTok’s collection and transmission of identifiers from millions of U.S. consumers until November 2019.

Senator Moran says the report also described questionable activity by TikTok as it relates to the transparency of these data collection activities and is seeking clarity on these practices.

“There are allegations that TikTok discretely collected media access control (MAC) addresses, commonly used for advertisement targeting purposes, through Google Android’s operating system under an “unusual layer of encryption” through November 2019,” the senators wrote. “Given these reports and their potential relevancy to the “Executive Order on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok,” we urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the company’s consumer data collection and processing practices as they relate to these accusations and other possible harmful activities posed to consumers.”

The senator says he and his cohort are asking if the FTC looks at MAC addresses as personally identifiable, if TikTok provided any form of notice to customers of data collection, if TikTok provided a way to acquire consent, if the FTC has been in contact with third party app-store hosts, a description of the loophole that TikTok reportedly exploited and a description of the extra layer of encryption to conceal the company’s collected data.

To read the letter in its entirety click here.

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