TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, admitted to using the social network to track the locations of Forbes reporters.
As the media noted and the initial suspicions were published in October following an internal investigation by ByteDance, The company discovered that four of its employees, two in the United States and two in China, were tracking down journalists who provided information about the company.
entering,Obtained inappropriate access to IP addresses and user data to determine if they were in the same locations as them” was noted as ‘Forbes’.
Journalists spied on will be Emily Baker-White, Katherine Schwab and Richard Nieva, who worked for ‘Buzzfeed’ and then ‘Forbes’. However, the company did not confirm the identity of the reporters in its statements. They simply said their staff had received information from “a former BuzzFeed reporter and a Financial Times reporter.”
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ByteDance ran a covert surveillance campaign that was tracked down by “Forbes” journalists. The magazine said the goal was to “expose the source of the outlet’s leaks after a series of stories revealing the company’s ongoing ties to China.”
The Raven project (in Spanish cuervo project) “involved the company’s Main Security and Privacy Office, was known to TikTok’s Head of Global Legal Compliance, and was endorsed by ByteDance employees in China”, “Forbes” explained in detail after reviewing the company’s documentation.
They also stated that ByteDance had fired chief internal auditor Chris Lepitak, who led the responsible team.
An internal e-mail also accessible to ‘Forbes’ reads: “I was deeply disappointed when I was notified of the situation (…) Public confidence that we went to great lengths to build will be significantly shaken by abuse. some people I think this will be a lesson to all of us.”
“In this case, people abused their authority to gain access to TikTok user data,” TikTok’s attorney Erich Andersen wrote in another email shared by the magazine.
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