Accusing four of its employees of misconduct, ByteDance, the parent company of video app TikTok has fired all of them. The company found the employees guilty of accessing the user data of two American journalists secretly and without seeking their consent. Among the four puters, two were in the United States and two in China. Of the two reporters who accessed their data, one belonged to BuzzFeed News and the other worked with the Financial Times.
A spokesperson from ByteDance revealed that this was a deliberate effort by its former employees to spy on reporters by searching their IP addresses in an attempt to investigate leaks of information about the company and whether they were present in the same location as suspected when it was leaked. . This action was in complete violation of company policy and as such, the required step was taken.
The company’s latest disclosure also adds to its ongoing concerns. Recently, the Chinese app has been under the radar of Washington lawmakers and the Biden administration over security concerns about US user data.
Congress, the legislature of the United States federal government, is expected to pass legislation this week seeking to prohibit US government employees from downloading or using TikTok on their government-owned devices. Lawmakers continue to see this as a threat to US national security. Even a dozen governors have restricted state employees from running the video hosting service on state-owned devices.
source: New York Times (paywall) Through: Reuters