New Allegation Says Tik Tok Sends Data To China Every Two Weeks

In a bombshell story, Fortune Magazine has revealed what everyone suspected. Communist China is using TikTok to scrape the data of millions of Americans. 

The story contradicts TikTok’s public claims that it operates in complete independence from China. 

Fortune spoke to a former employee who spilled the beans on the social media platform’s data practices.

Evan Turner, who worked at TikTok as a senior data scientist from April to September in 2022, said TikTok concealed the involvement of its Chinese owner during his employment. When hired, Turner initially reported to a ByteDance executive in Beijing. But later that year, after the company announced a major initiative to store TikTok’s U.S. user data only in the U.S., Turner was reassigned—on paper, at least—to an American manager in Seattle, he says. But Turner says a human resources representative revealed during a video conference call that he would, in reality, continue to work with the ByteDance executive. The stealth chain of command contradicted what TikTok’s executives had said about the company’s independence from ByteDance, Turner says.

Turner says he never met with the Seattle-based manager. Instead, Turner had weekly check-ins lasting less than seven minutes with the Beijing-based ByteDance executive. In these meetings, Turner says he merely told the executive how far along he was in completing assigned tasks—and nothing else.

Nearly every 14 days, as part of Turner’s job throughout 2022, he emailed spreadsheets filled with data for hundreds of thousands of U.S. users to ByteDance workers in Beijing. That data included names, email addresses, IP addresses, and geographic and demographic information of TikTok U.S. users, he says. The goal was to sift through the information to mine for insights like the geographical regions where users watched the most videos of a particular genre and decide how the company should invest to encourage users to be more active. It all took place after the company had started its initiative to keep sensitive U.S. user data in the U.S., and only available to U.S. workers. 

“I literally worked on a project that gave U.S. data to China,” Turner says. “They were completely complicit in that. There were Americans that were working in upper management that were completely complicit in this.” 

TikTok has faced scrutiny by American lawmakers after it was revealed that it was influencing millions of young people and could sway American elections this November.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that “U.S. lawmakers in January grilled TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew over his company’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party, after both President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump voiced national security concerns and tried to restrict the video-sharing platform’s operations in the United States.  

Last month, the House voted 352-65 in favor of banning TikTok unless it is sold to a non-Chinese company. Biden said he would sign the bill should it pass through the Senate.”

Prior to the vote, millions of teenagers flooded Congress with phone calls after TikTok created a prompt at the opening of the phone application urging users to demand that Congress not force the company to be sold to a company not under the influence of the CCP.  

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