ByteDance Accessed TikTok Data To Track Journalists

On December 22, foreign media reported that the CCP controlled ByteDance admitted using TikTok data to track journalists and try to identify internal employees who leaked information to the press. Previously, several American media exposed that ByteDance used TikTok data to spy on American citizens. According to reports, ByteDance is currently investigating the issue of employees revealed to the press. Hence, it tracked and accessed the TikTok data of two journalists who released their inside information, including IP addresses that can provide user location. Although ByteDance falsely called the move an “internal investigation,” it is an infringement of data privacy under international law. After the incident was exposed, ByteDance quickly fired the employees involved in an attempt to shift public opinion from the company to individuals. However, the incident will intensify the scrutiny of TikTok’s national security issues in the United States. U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns about the security of user data and the ability of the company’s Chinese employees to obtain information on TikTok users in the United States. In recent weeks, more than a dozen states have announced bans on government employees using TikTok on government-issued devices, including Maryland, South Dakota and Texas. Many universities also block access to TikTok from school devices or wireless networks. Earlier this week, the Senate passed a bill banning TikTok on all U.S. government devices. In addition, three lawmakers have proposed legislation to ban the app from operating in the United States.

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