DOJ is investigating possible spying by TikTok parent ByteDance
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, for possible spying on US citizens, including journalists, CBS News has confirmed.
News of the investigation comes as US lawmakersto take action against the massively popular social media app over ByteDance’s relationship with China and national security concerns over its collection of user data. The Biden administration If ByteDance is not disassociating itself from the app, TikTok confirmed to CBS News on Wednesday.
Emily Baker-White, a Forbes journalist who said she was one of the reporters whose TikTok data was improperly accessed by ByteDance, was the first to report the federal investigation. The Justice Department declined to comment Friday.
ByteDance admitted in December that its employees improperly obtained data from American TikTok users, including two journalists and several people associated with them, according to the New York Times.
“We strongly condemn the actions of the individuals involved and they are no longer employed by ByteDance,” ByteDance told CBS News in a statement Friday. “Our internal investigation is still ongoing, and we will cooperate with any official investigation if it is brought to us.”
The federal government has already banned the app from government-issued devices, and several lawmakers have introduced legislation that could lead to a national ban on the platform.
TikTok’s CEO is scheduled to testify before House lawmakers next Thursday.
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