Forbes published an article suggesting TikTok intended to use its software “to monitor the personal location of select identifiable American residents”. TikTok refuted claims that it tracked some Americans using specific location information. The Chinese business ByteDance is the owner of the video-sharing app.
According to the US business journal, which used papers it had access to, ByteDance had launched a surveillance effort to look into employee wrongdoing by both present and former workers. It stated that at least twice throughout the project’s administration by a Beijing-based team, a US citizen’s location data was going to be collected.
The CEO of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, reports directly to the head of the internal audit and risk management division, which is in charge of the monitoring.
Although the investigation into employee misbehavior is the department’s main priority, on one occasion it also had intentions to track down a US resident who had never worked for the company.
The app does not collect exact GPS location information from US users, so TikTok could not track US users this way, the report said. It was unclear whether any were gathered.