Ex-TikTok employee claims he was INSTRUCTED to send American users’ data to Beijing-based parent company
04/22/2024 // Olivia Cook // Views

A former employee at video sharing app TikTok has revealed that he was instructed to send the data of American users to the company's Beijing-based parent ByteDance.

Citing an April 15 piece by Fortune magazine, the Washington Free Beacon reported that former TikTok data scientist Evan Turner was mandated to send U.S. user data to ByteDance. The erstwhile employee had been employed by the tech giant from April to September 2022.

When Turner began his tenure at TikTok, he initially reported directly to a ByteDance executive based in the Chinese capital. The data scientist was later officially reassigned to work under an American manager in Seattle.

However, a human resources representatives later clarified in a video conference that Turner would continue to report to the Beijing-based executive. The data scientist also mentioned that he never met with his U.S.-based boss at all.

According to the Free Beacon, Turner's tasks involved preparing spreadsheets containing sensitive data from hundreds of thousands of U.S. users. Such data included names, email addresses, IP addresses, geographic information and demographic information. The finished spreadsheets were then sent every two weeks directly to his contacts in Beijing.

This data was reportedly used to analyze user engagement across different geographical regions and to inform business investment strategies to boost user activity. But one cannot help but think that this data harvested by TikTok could be used for a more nefarious purpose.

"[I] literally worked on a project that gave U.S. data to China," Turner remarked. "There were Americans that were working in upper management that were completely complicit in this."

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"Everyone should be really concerned," remarked Anton Dahbura, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute. "Even though a spreadsheet is probably a very tiny percentage of all the information that TikTok collects, it can be extremely targeted and very damaging to certain people."

Revelation contradicts TikTok's claims of independence from China

Turner's revelation to Fortune magazine contradicts TikTok's public claims of being free from undue influence from China. It has consistently maintained that it operates independently of ByteDance, particularly with user data management.

This claim was especially emphasized following the launch of the Project Texas initiative, which purportedly sought to end the sharing of sensitive U.S. user data with any entities based in the mainland. Project Texas was introduced in response to U.S. regulatory concerns and governmental scrutiny.

The $1.5 billion endeavor aimed to restrict access to U.S. user data to operations within the country alone, ensuring all such data was stored and processed only in U.S.-based data centers. It also established TikTok U.S. Data Security (USDS), an entity "tasked with managing all business functions that require access to user data identified by the U.S. government as needing additional protection."

The concerns around TikTok's handling of data were significantly amplified under the Trump administration, which accused the app of being a national security threat. President Joe Biden's administration subsequently prohibited TikTok on federal devices, a move that many state and local governments mirrored. (Related: Biden joins TikTok despite national security concerns.)

Moreover, Turner's allegations come at a time when TikTok was already under intense scrutiny in the United States. Back in March, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution banning TikTok unless ByteDance divested its ownership. The measure now awaits action from the Senate.

Visit NationalSecurity.news for more similar stories.

Watch this NBC News report about TikTok being banned on mobile devices issued by the U.S. House of Representatives.

This video is from the In Search Of Truth channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

TikTok ban bill could lead to broader surveillance and censorship by U.S. government.

TikTok spending $1 million to fight social media "misinformation" that questions official COP28 narratives (which are rooted in climate LIES.

TikTok caught tricking teens into "self-diagnosing" rare mental disorders.

House committee passes bill ordering TikTok to divest from the CCP.

Alabama, Utah ban TikTok on state-owned devices over security concerns.

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