TikTok denies that ByteDance planned to use the app to track individuals in the US

TikTok said it doesn’t collect accurate GPS location information from users in the US, meaning it can’t be used to monitor people “in the way.” [Forbes] suggested.” The app’s communications team tweeted this in response to a Forbes article claims that a China-based team at its parent company ByteDance had planned to use the app to track “the personal location of a few certain American citizens.” It is unclear whether any information about these individuals was actually collected.

forbes reported that the team behind the monitoring project is part of ByteDance’s Internal Audit and Risk Control department. The department is typically responsible for investigating potential misconduct by current and former employees of the company. However, the publication said the group intended to use TikTok to collect data on the whereabouts of a US citizen who has never been employed by the company in at least two cases.

TikTok has resisted and sued the allegations of publication forbes to omit the part of its explanation that said it doesn’t capture an accurate GPS position. This part “disproved the feasibility of [the piece’s] Core allegation,” it explained. Also TikTok stressed that it has never been used to target members of the US government, public figures, activists, and journalists, and that it does not serve them any content other than other users. In its report, Forbes wrote that TikTok “did not answer any questions” about whether ByteDance’s internal audit team had targeted members of these groups.

As forbes notes that TikTok has previously made promises to US authorities and lawmakers to allay concerns that China could use the app against US citizens. In June, TikTok announced that it had changed “the default location of US user data” to “Oracle cloud servers in the US.” The service made the announcement as well BuzzFeed News published a report on China-based ByteDance employees repeatedly accessing non-public data of TikTok users in the US. This report was based on hours of internal discussions leaked to the publication.

A few weeks later, TikTok outlined its plans for keeping US users’ data safe in a letter to lawmakers. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew assured them that the company “will delete US users’ protected data [its] own systems and are moving completely to Oracle Cloud servers in the USA.” forbes spoke to an Oracle spokesman, who said that while TikTok is currently using its cloud services, Oracle has no visibility into what it’s doing and the service still has full control over all of its information.

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https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-denies-allegations-forbes-061004399.html?src=rss TikTok denies that ByteDance planned to use the app to track individuals in the US

Russell Falcon

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