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ByteDance Employees Illegally Obtained TikTok User Data 

Employees of ByteDance, which owns the social network TikTok, illegally obtained user data from Americans, including two journalists. This was reported by The New York Times on Thursday. According to the publication, information had previously been leaked from ByteDance, whose employees believed that journalists were involved in this.

It was possible to discover the fact of illegal access to TikTok user data during an internal investigation that was launched in the summer in order to identify the source of leaking information about employees to the press.  ByteDance internal audit staff accessed account data from a number of journalists to determine if they interacted with TikTok representatives.

In addition to this, the company launched a separate investigation after reports surfaced in the media of ByteDance’s intention to use the TikTok app to track the physical location of some U.S. users of the platform. The second investigation was conducted by a third-party law firm, whose employees revealed the fact of illegal access to users’ personal data. As a result, one of the employees who were convicted of violating the rules resigned, and three more were fired. The ByteDance internal audit team has also been restructured to avoid similar incidents in the future.

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