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TikTok Parent ByteDance Faces FBI Investigation Over Privacy Concerns

In December, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, terminated four employees who used the platform to track the locations of two journalists. The incident has since caught the attention of the FBI and the Department of Justice, which is reportedly investigating the matter.

TikTok logo
TikTok logo

Investigation Timing Adds Pressure to Sell TikTok Stake

The FBI's involvement comes at an inopportune moment for ByteDance, as the company is currently under pressure to sell its stake in the popular social media app TikTok.

Congressional Concerns About TikTok Surveillance Tactics

Before this incident, members of Congress had already expressed concerns about TikTok's surveillance practices, especially after ByteDance admitted to inappropriate access to US user data by its employees.

ByteDance Pledges Cooperation with Official Investigations

A ByteDance spokesperson stated that the company strongly condemns the actions of the individuals involved in the spying incident and that the company no longer employs them. ByteDance's internal investigation is ongoing, and they have committed to cooperating with any official investigations.

Journalist Tracking Aimed to Uncover Leak Sources

The incident in question involved ByteDance employees accessing the data of several US TikTok users, including journalists, to identify the sources of information leaks. Forbes revealed that ByteDance had tracked three reporters who previously worked for BuzzFeed News. This publication has published multiple reports about TikTok, focusing on alleged connections to the Chinese government.