The social network TikTok, from the Chinese company ByteDance, would collect the personal data of its users but also that of Internet users who do not have an account.
This is revealed by the American consumer association Consumer Reports, in a press release published on Thursday.
To achieve this, the social network apartment at ByteDance would have partnered with companies specializing in online advertising, which would have set up trackers on their websites.
These would make it possible to collect information on Internet users for ByteDance.
Objective: to optimize the advertisements offered on TikTok.
And these trackers would be present in number.
Consumer Reports has partnered with Disconnect, a firm specializing in computer security.
It looked for trackers in 20,000 Internet sites, including the 10,000 most popular sites on the Web but also sites of government organizations.
The study found that TikTok trackers were everywhere.
“If you go to the United Methodist Church main site, TikTok will hear about it.
Interested in joining Weight Watchers?
TikTok will find out too.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security notifies TikTok when you view pages regarding domestic violence or food assistance,” says Consumer Reports.
Sensitive information would be collected such as the IP address, a unique identification number for each Internet user, as well as interactions with the website consulted.
TikTok explained about this and explained that the information collected was “used to improve the efficiency of [its] advertising services” but not to “group individuals into particular categories that other advertisers target”.
The social network added that the data collected on Internet users who do not use TikTok was not shared with advertisers.
In addition, certain data would not be collected, such as information related to health problems, financial concerns or relating to children.
Precautions deemed insufficient by Consumer Reports.
Several other companies would work in the same way and in particular Meta or Google, which also have many trackers.
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