ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, would plan to use the social network to try to monitor the exact location of its users in the United States. The task would be in the hands of ByteDance’s internal audit and risk control team, which is based in China and reports directly to the company’s CEO Rubo Liang, according to Forbes, which had access to documents that prove the plans of the company.
This task force is primarily responsible for conducting investigations of employees themselves in cases where they are believed to have engaged in misconduct. However, according to Forbes, it is also known that were ordered to track down US citizens.
The plan, as internal company documents point out, was for a team from China to carry out the project. So far, the purpose of this type of surveillance is unknown, however, it is known that it would not be aimed at improving its geolocation-based ad system. Those responsible for ByteDance and TikTok preferred not to respond when asked about those who have been monitored using this practice.
What does TikTok say?
After knowing the alleged plans of the social network to track its users in the United States TikTok published a series of tweets in which they claim that the accusations against their company and ByteDance are completely false. They explained that their app does not collect information associated with the GPS and the location of its users in the United States, in such a way that you could not track its users as stated in the article published by Forbes.
Likewise strongly denied that TikTok had ever been used to track any member of the US government, activists, public figures or journalists. To this they added that the use of privileged information by any member of their internal audit team in the context raised by Forbes would be cause for the immediate dismissal of any employee.
“Our Internal Audit team follows established policies and processes to acquire the information they need to conduct internal investigations of violations of company codes of conduct, as is standard for companies in our industry. Any use of internal audit resources as alleged by Forbes would be grounds for immediate dismissal of company personnel,” TikTok said.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.