TikTok parent company ByteDance revealed the use of TikTok data to track journalists

Pierluigi Paganini December 23, 2022

ByteDance admitted that its employees accessed TikTok data to track journalists to identify the source of leaks to the media.

TikTok parent company ByteDance revealed that several employees accessed the TikTok data of two journalists to investigate leaks of company information to the media. 

According to an email from ByteDance’s general counsel Erich Andersen which was seen by the AFP news agency, the Chinese company was attempting to discover who shared company information with a Financial Times reporter and a former BuzzFeed journalist.

The company fired an undisclosed number of employees who were involved in the data leak because they violated the company’s Code of Conduct, but it did not reveal their names.

In an attempt to discover the location of the unfaithful employees, the Chinese personnel analyzed their IP addresses, but this method was approximate.

“Employees had obtained the IP addresses of the journalists in a bid to determine whether they were in the same location as ByteDance colleagues suspected of disclosing confidential information, a company review of the scheme led by its compliance team and an external law firm found, according to Andersen.” reported the AFP.

Source: Messagero

TikTok is going to be banned from most U.S. government devices under a spending bill Congress unveiled early Tuesday, the latest push by American lawmakers against the Chinese-owned social media app.

TikTok would be banned from most U.S. government devices under a spending bill Congress that was announced this week.

CIA Director William Burns said that the Chinese government can “insist upon extracting the private data of a lot of TikTok users in this country and also to shape the content of what goes on to TikTok as well to suit the interests of the Chinese leadership.”

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, said that the ban is a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, intelligence)

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