Of Course, China is Storing Information on US-Based TikTok Users

Despite TikTok repeatedly assuring skeptics that China is not storing the data of U.S. users, a new report confirms the opposite. 

BuzzFeed News reviewed over 80 internal TikTok meetings to establish that China has access to U.S. data from at least September 2021 through January 2022.

“Everything is seen in China,” a member of the TikTok Trust and Safety department said, according to the finding.

TikTok had previously said that U.S. employees had access to user data. That is also a lie. The report found that U.S. TikTok staffers do not know how to, and do not have permission to, access personal data. The meetings confirm that engineers in the U.S. have had to rely on the staff in China to provide them user information.

Moreover, one particular Beijing-based engineer “has access to everything.” He goes by “Master Admin.” You cannot hide from him. 

So TikTok has been lying. Of course, it has.

The parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, is based in China and has developed what is known in the tech industry as the most sophisticated algorithm to date, with the sole purpose of exploiting users.  And still, tech writers had believed TikTok’s claim that it would “never” share U.S. user data with the Chinese government.

Are journalists that gullible? Yes. But more importantly, they didn’t want to admit former President Donald Trump was correct. 

In an August 2020 executive order to ban U.S. companies from doing business with ByteDance, Trump claimed that TikTok’s “data collection threatens to allow” China to “access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”

Our media sided with a company in China over Trump — not exactly a revelation. So credit BuzzFeed for doing its job and reporting on an influential company.

In addition to providing uncanny access to China, I argued in December that TikTok is the most dangerous of the social platforms. 

On average, TikTok learns a user’s interests in under two hours. At that point, the algorithm feeds on the users’ weaknesses to keep them scrolling on the app. To be specific, TikTok looks to capitalize on users going through breakups and periods of depression. 

Per our column:

“TikTok bombards users with content that it knows they likely won’t be able to ignore. And like all satanic blueprints, TikTok especially feeds on the weak: 25% of TikTok’s active users in the U.S. are people aged 10-19.”

RELATED: TIKTOK: THE SILENT ABUSER.

We are not encouraging users to leave TikTok or quit practicing their goofy dances. But know what you are getting yourself into by using the app. TikTok is a Chinese company spying on you and turning a capital on your vulnerabilities. 

So participate as you wish.

In the meantime, TikTok tells BuzzFeed it plans to “remove any doubt about the security of U.S. user data.”

Translation: TikTok will lie again, and most of the press will believe the lie.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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