Make way for more evidence of China’s free rein access to TikTok users’ data, which apparently included a “backdoor channel” and a “god credential” account.
The Chinese Communist Party reportedly enjoyed full access to the data of Hong Kong TikTok users, according to Yintao Yu, a former executive for TikTok’s parent company at ByteDance. The allegations came up in a wrongful-dismissal lawsuit.
This new development just further underscores TikTok’s dangerous ties to China, an assessment that its controversy-embroiled parent company ByteDance “denies,” according to The Journal.
The former executive accused the CCP of having a “superuser” account, disturbingly known as a “god credential,” which Yu said gave the communist Chinese government access to all consumers’ data through a “backdoor channel.”
Yu said that the purpose of this unfettered access was to further strengthen the Chinese government’s authoritative hold of Hong Kong by unveiling the identity and location of pro-freedom protestors. The former engineering chief worked for ByteDance’s Los Angeles-based office from 2017 to 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal. Yu’s lawsuit — filed in California — accused CCP members of accessing the personal information of pro-freedom activists in Hong Kong, including their cell phone data and IP addresses.
In the lawsuit, Yu accused TikTok of illegally “stealing content” from Big Tech apps, including Snapchat and Instagram, and of fabricating an army of fake accounts to increase engagement on the now-infamous app, according to The New York Times. Yu said he came across logs that unveiled that members of the CCP had accessed the personal information of Hong Kong pro-freedom protestors, including their supporters.
ByteDance has denied these damning new allegations with demonstrably dubious claims. “We vigorously oppose what we believe are baseless claims and allegations in this complaint,” a spokeswoman for ByteDance claimed in a statement to The Journal. The spokeswoman alleged that Yu did not even work for TikTok but for the now-discontinued Flipagram app.
However, ByteDance is in effect assuming consumers will ignore the fact it bought Flipagram, a video editing app, in 2017 and then used Flipagram’s technology to launch TikTok’s predecessor app, Musical.ly, according to Productmint. As it has been widely documented, Musical.ly then became TikTok.
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