Former employees of the popular video platform TikTok confirmed what former President Trump warned during much of 2020, ensuring that the parent company Byte Dance records, controls and makes decisions of absolutely everything that happens in the U.S. version of TikTok.
As reported by the CNBC news network, a group of former TikTok employees argued that ByteDance has access to the data of the platform’s U.S. users and is closely involved in the Los Angeles-based company’s decision-making and product development.
As is known, cybersecurity experts are concerned that the Chinese regime’s government may use TikTok to spread propaganda or censor the U.S. audience, or else to exert influence on users who may come to regret what they posted on the service.
In the report published by CNBC, they recount the experience of a former TikTok recruiter who stated that her work schedule was from 10 am to 7 pm, but most of the time, she found herself working double shifts because Byt Dance executives based in Beijing, China, were fully involved in making decisions about what was happening in the United States, and given the time difference she was forced to have contact with them in the evening, as they required California employees to be available “at all hours of the day.”
Both the recruiter and four other former employees who spoke to CNBC requested anonymity to protect their safety, given the complexity of the case.
All of those interviewed said the parent company has access to U.S. user data and is actively involved in the Los Angeles company’s decision-making and product development.
In 2020, then President Donald Trump in his strong fight in defense of national security attempted to ban TikTok in the U.S. or force a merger with a U.S. company, to allow greater control over it.
Both Trump and his officials repeatedly argued that TikTok could be “sending data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.”
Without arguing for his decision, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on June 9 of this year, reversing former President Trump’s ban on the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat.
The executive order directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to “evaluate these threats through rigorous, evidence-based analysis and should address any unacceptable or undue risks consistent with overall national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives, including the preservation and demonstration of America’s core values and fundamental freedoms.”
Many doubts arose in this regard, especially when trying to understand the motivating factor for the Biden administration to remove what has already been stipulated based on previous investigations and the real need to remove the restrictions while a new investigation is initiated. Nevertheless, it is impossible not to suspect some interest or motivation for this controversial action.