Chinese Communist Party Has TikTok User Data, Former Exec Claims
A former executive at TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has alleged in legal filings that China’s Communist Party members has accessed personal data of TikTok users.
Yintao Yu was head of engineering at ByteDance’s American operation from mid-2017 to the end of the following year, during which time he said the Communist Party accessed data of TikTok users in Hong Kong.
He said the party members targeted civil rights activists in Hong Kong and pulled network information, SIM card identifications and IP addresses in an attempt to physically locate these users.
His filing claims that members of the Chinese Communist Party have what’s known as a “god credential” to view all data collected by ByteDance. In addition, ByteDance knowingly allowed the party to access a “backdoor channel” to U.S. user data.
Yu made these claims as part of a a wrongful-dismissal lawsuit filed against the company.
ByteDance denies the charges.
“We vigorously oppose what we believe are baseless claims and allegations in this complaint,” a spokeswoman for ByteDance said.
“His actions are clearly intended to garner media attention.”