ByteDance sought to use TikTok to monitor the location of some US citizens

Illustrative file image of the TikTok app logo (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic) (DADO RUVIC/)

ByteDancethe China-based tech giant and owner of TikTokplanned to use the popular social network to monitor location of some American citizens of whom he had an interest in to spy or have information specifies of these.

According to Forbesto monitor US citizens the Chinese company created a team led by Song Ye. All information collected was reported to the co-founder and CEO of ByteDance, blush Liang.

ByteDance planned to collect data on the Location of Americans who did not have any type of employment relationship with TikTok or with its parent company. So far, it is not clear how much information could be collected or to what extent the plan to obtain information was successful.

It may interest you: They leaked audios of Tik Tok meetings: they accessed private data of US users from China

According to maureen shanahanspokesperson for TikTok, the social network collects data on the location of its users based on the addresses IP. “To, among other things, help deliver relevant content and ads to users, comply with applicable laws, and detect and prevent fraud and inauthentic behavior,” he told Forbes.

However, according to information obtained by Forbesthe information they wanted to collect was not to target advertisements but to monitor US citizenss of whom were interested in knowing what they were doing and having specific information about them.

The Chinese company conducts regular investigations of its TikTok and ByteDance employees to determine if there is a leak of confidential information. According to the research of ForbesTikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew ordered collect information from your employees and those who had even left the company.

ByteDance, using an auditing system known as “Green Channel”, collected data from US employees and former employees and brought this information to Beijing.

A security guard near a surveillance camera at a Bytedance office (REUTERS/Thomas Suen)
A security guard near a surveillance camera in a Bytedance office (REUTERS / Thomas Suen) (Thomas Suen /)

“Like most companies our size, we have an internal audit function responsible for objectively auditing and evaluating the company’s and our employees’ compliance with our codes of conduct,” said Jennifer Banks, a spokeswoman for ByteDance.

“This team provides their recommendations to the leadership team,” he added.

the chinese company has not been clear with the US authorities about their practices and has not answered questions about how your internal audit team operates. In addition, it indicates that access to certain information of US users will be “limited only to authorized personnel, in accordance with protocols agreed with the US Government.”

Given the concern of Washington, Tik Tok promoted the call “Texas Project”for stop the flow of information from the North American country to the Asian one.

In a hearing in the US Congress in September, the company assured that it would reach an agreement that could satisfy “all the concerns of National security” about the app. However, some senators have been skeptics.

In July, they leaked recordings over 80 tik tok meetupswhich revealed that company employees in China accessed private information of American users. This despite the fact that, according to previous statements by the company about its privacy policy, the data of users from the United States (USA) are stored in their country of origin and not in the Asian country.

It may interest you: United States senators asked to investigate TikTok for alleged Chinese espionage

According to the portal that spread the news, buzzfeedin the leaked audios, nine workers declared that the engineers had access to the information at least between September 2021 and January 2022. In addition, testimonies have revealed that US collaborators had to communicate with their colleagues in China to obtain information about the circulation of US user data.

Logo of TikTok (REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo)
Logo of TikTok (REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo) (FLORENCE LO/)

At the moment, ByteDance’s role, its commitment, to limit China-based employees’ access to US TikTok user data is unclear.

It should be remembered that the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, tried to stop the use of the application in the countrydue to the suspicion that ByteDancethe parent company of Tik Tok, accessed the information of US citizens and shared it with the Chinese government.

At the moment, US lawmakers and TikTok are working out a plan, according to which the short-form video app would changes to the security of your data and its governance without requiring its parent company, China’s ByteDance, to sell it.

TikTok and the Biden administration have drafted a preliminary agreement to resolve national security concerns, but they are still deciding on a possible deal.

TikTok has long faced scrutiny from US lawmakers, who have questioned the protection of user data by the Chinese-owned app.

The popular social media platform is being evaluated by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United Statesan interagency government review board that assesses the risks of foreign investments to the national security of the United States.

TikTok has consistently defended itself against these accusations, saying it does not give data about US users to the Chinese government even though its parent company is based in China. “We have spoken openly about our work to limit access to user data in all regions, and in our letter to senators last week we were clear about our progress in limiting access further through our work with Oracle,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

“As we have repeatedly said, TikTok has never shared US user data with the Chinese government, nor would we if asked,” the company added.

It has been more than two years since a US national security panel ordered parent company ByteDance to ditch TikTok. out of fear that US user data could be passed to China’s communist government.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps in the world, with over a billion active users worldwide, with the United States as its largest market.

Keep reading:

How Big Data is helping farmers adapt to climate change

Microsoft Teams now uses artificial intelligence so that calls do not have echoes or interruptions

Beware, these 18 applications have malware according to SecneurX