China accessed data of US TikTok users repeatedly, report says

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The Chinese parent company of TikTok had access to American users’ data for months even while US employees did not have access themselves, according to leaked audio.

The audio, obtained by BuzzFeed News, covers more than 80 internal meetings at TikTok between the months of September 2021 and January 2022. It showed that US employees were not permitted to access user data and relied on Chinese employees to do so, according to BuzzFeed.

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is required under Chinese law to share its data with the Chinese Communist Party whenever requested.

“As we’ve publicly stated, we’ve brought in world class internal and external security experts to help us strengthen our data security efforts. This is standard industry practice given the complexity of data security challenges,” TikTok said in a statement to Business Insider on Friday.

US MOVING–SOME SAY TOO SLOWLY–TO ADDRESS TIKTOK SECURITY CONCERNS

FILE – This Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, shows the icon for TikTok in New York. President Donald Trump will order China’s ByteDance to sell its hit video app TikTok because of national-security concerns, according to reports published Friday, July 31, 2020. “We are looking at TikTok,” Trump told reporters Friday at the White House. “We may be banning TikTok.” (AP Photo/File)

TIKTOK STARS WHO MADE MORE MONEY THAN MANY OF AMERICA’S TOP CEOS

“In May, we created a new in-house department, US Data Security (USDS), with US-based leadership, to provide a greater level of focus and governance on US data security. The creation of this organization is part of our ongoing effort and commitment to strengthen our data protection policies and protocols, further protect our users, and build confidence in our systems and controls,” the statement continued.

The video sharing app has faced heavy scrutiny from US politicians and Republicans in particular for its Chinese roots.

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Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the app from the US in 2020, but President Joe Biden prevented the ban from taking effect soon after entering office.

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