The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that tracking codes from Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok were found on 30 state computer servers in 27 states, bolstering the contention of critics that the popular platform is tracking Americans and poses a security threat to the U.S.
The cybersecurity company Feroot Security discovered the tracking code, which originated from TikTok's parent company, CCP-owned ByteDance.
The tracking pixels can be used to gather usernames, addresses, and other personal data from users, but are most commonly used to target advertising to a user's specific preferences.
Lawmakers are considering legislation to ban the app nationally, but even shutting TikTok down won't remove the tracking pixels from servers they are already installed on.
Feroot Security also discovered tracking software from WeChat, Weibo Corp., and Alibaba, as well as Russian-owned Kaspersky.
The pixels frequently transfer data to China, Feroot claimed.