Does TikTok spy on American citizens? The social denies

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The American newspaper Forbes accused ByteDancethe parent company of TikTok, to use the platform for ‘spy on’ some American citizens, tracing its position. But the social categorically denies and responds to the allegations on Twitter.

Forbes accuses TikTok of spying on American citizens, the social network denies

Forbes, the US economic magazine famous for its list of the richest people in the world, has published an investigation on ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. Citing sources he intends to keep anonymous, Forbes accuses the company of spying on some American citizens.

According to the materials viewed by Forbes, the head of this alleged operation would be the Internal Audit and Risk Control department led by Song Ye. The Beijing-based team is tasked with investigate any employee behavior that violates the guidelines business, something that for TikTok is “a standard for companies in our sector”.

According to Forbes, however, the Audit team would have planned to collect data on the location of a US citizen who never worked for the company. However, it is unclear whether this location data was actually collected.

Forbes decided not to share the person’s name or the purpose of this operation, but says the goal was not to “show advertising surveys and content to users, as well as preventing fraud and inauthentic behavior, in compliance with local laws ”as TikTok says.

ByteDance categorically denies it

The official TikTokComms account, su Twitter, he responded to these accusations, which he calls “lacking in journalistic rigor and integrity”. In particular, TikTok specifies something that Forbes mentions in the article, but that for the social completely discreet the news. “TikTok does not collect accurate GPS location information for usersti USA, so TikTok could not monitor US users as suggested in the article “.

Furthermore, on Twitter, the Chinese social network responds to some accusations for which it has not made any statements to Forbes. In particular that “nhe has never targeted members of the US governmentactivists, public figures or journalists and we do not offer different experiences to these categories compared to other users “.

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Forbes did not directly accuse TikTok of these practices, but wrote that “ByteDance is not the first tech giant to consider monitoring specific people in the US,” citing New York Times reports on Uber and the alleged privileged treatment for politicians who would have legislated on the social network. And the book An Ugly Truth, which he accuses Facebook of having monitored journalists to find the ‘moles’ within the company.

Finally, TikTok made it clear that it does not tolerate the use of these resources to spy on private citizens: “Any use of internal audit resources for purposes such as those supposed by Forbes would lead to‘immediate dismissal of those responsible “.

The aftermath of the Forbes allegations to TikTok

Forbes reports that TikTok is about to strike a deal with Department of Treasury Foreign Investment Commission (CFIUS). The Commission is evaluating the company on the orders of President Biden, after doubts about national security have emerged.

To address these concerns, TikTok has launched the Project Texas, that it should modify internal assets so that no employees from China can have access to data collected on American users. Forbes’ allegations could make it more difficult for social media to obtain government approval.

Without a doubt, whether verified or not, the Forbes allegations will still pay off the Biden administration’s scrutiny is more rigorous. We will keep you updated on the evolution of this situation.