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Trump Was Right: Data From US TikTok Users Has Been Accessed By China


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On August 6th, 2020 President Trump issued an executive order that aimed to ban the app TikTok in the United States.

Biden, however, reversed Trump’s ban on TikTok and as a result, China is harvesting data of American citizens that have downloaded the app.

A new report by BuzzFeed News has concluded China’s ByteDance employees have direct access to data from American TikTokers.

The news comes after a leaked audio recording from ByteDance studio in China could be heard TikTok users in China talking about US user’s non-public data.

BuzzFeed broke the story:

For years, TikTok has responded to data privacy concerns by promising that information gathered about users in the United States is stored in the United States, rather than China, where ByteDance, the video platform’s parent company, is located. But according to leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users — exactly the type of behavior that inspired former president Donald Trump to threaten to ban the app in the United States.

The recordings, which were reviewed by BuzzFeed News, contain 14 statements from nine different TikTok employees indicating that engineers in China had access to US data between September 2021 and January 2022, at the very least.

Despite a TikTok executive’s sworn testimony in an October 2021 Senate hearing that a “world-renowned, US-based security team” decides who gets access to this data, nine statements by eight different employees describe situations where US employees had to turn to their colleagues in China to determine how US user data was flowing. US staff did not have permission or knowledge of how to access the data on their own, according to the tapes.

Breitbart got the scoop too:

Recently leaked audio from over 80 internal meetings reveals that China-based employees of the massively popular app TikTok repeatedly accessedU.S. user data, despite the company’s claims to the contrary.

BuzzFeed News reports that leaked audio from over 80 internal TikTok meetings reveals that China-based employees of the popular video sharing app have accessed U.S. user data on a repeated basis. The recordings are dated between September 2021 and January 2022 and include 14 statements from nine TikTok employees meeting to discuss “Project Texas,” a classified effort by U.S. employees to stop engineers in China from retrieving U.S. data.

One of the audio clips includes a TikTok director referring to a engineer of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance as a “Master Admin,” who has “access to everything.” TikTok made an announcement after the report was published, attempting to head off the bad news by stating that “100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” instead of being hosted at data centers in the U.S. and Singapore.



 

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