The US Department of Justice, in cooperation with the FBI, is conducting an investigation targeting the Chinese company (ByteDance), the parent company of the (TikTok) application, because of the application’s use in spying on American journalists, according to what was reported by the American “Forbes” magazine, citing sources. Well informed.
According to the report, the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Ministry of Justice requested information from ByteDance regarding its employees’ attempt to obtain the journalists’ geographical location information and data, through the TikTok application on their phones.
For its part, the company (ByteDance) did not deny these accusations, and spokeswoman for the company Jennifer Banks confirmed that the company strongly condemns the actions of the employees involved and said that they were fired from work. She added that the company’s internal investigation is still ongoing, and indicated the company’s willingness to cooperate with any official investigations on this matter.
The latest investigation comes as the White House escalates its accusations against the TikTok app, considering the app a threat to US national security. The White House believes that the Chinese government may use the popular video-sharing application to collect information or spy on American citizens. ByteDance revealed last week that the Biden administration had asked the company to sell the app or face a ban on the app from US app stores.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives had voted by majority in early March to give President Joe Biden the authority to ban the TikTok application in the United States, after escalating calls in recent years to ban the application from the Google and Apple App Stores in the United States.
TikTok faces ongoing press investigations in the United States, as the press constantly publishes new information about the company’s questionable user data practices. And previous leaks from the company (ByteDance), the developer of the application, indicated that employees in China could access the data of American users.
At the same time, TikTok is trying to deal with growing concerns about privacy and security with new measures, including setting up an independent committee to review privacy and security policies and increasing transparency regarding how it collects and uses data.