Justice Department investigating TikTok parent company ByteDance for possible spying on U.S. citizens

The US wants TikTok to break away from its Chinese owners.

TikTok says the US government wants the platform to split from its Chinese parent company.


Washington CBS News has confirmed that the Department of Justice is investigating TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance for possible spying on US citizens, including journalists.

News of the investigation comes as U.S. lawmakers. Raised the calls to take action against the widely popular social media app over ByteDance’s ties to China and national security concerns about user data collection. The Biden administration The country is considering a possible ban on TikTok. If ByteDance does not separate itself from the app, TikTok confirmed to CBS News on Wednesday.

Emily Baker White, a journalist for Forbes Joe, who says she was one of the reporters who improperly accessed her TikTok data through ByteDance, was the first woman to report on the federal investigation. The Justice Department declined to comment Friday.

ByteDance admitted in December that its employees improperly obtained data from US TikTok users, including two journalists and several people connected to them. According to the New York Times.

“We strongly condemn the actions of those found to be involved, and they are no longer employed by ByteDance,” ByteDance told CBS News in a statement Friday. “Our internal investigation is still ongoing, and we will cooperate with any official investigation when brought to our attention.”

The federal government has already banned the app from government-issued devices, and several lawmakers have introduced legislation that could lead to a national ban on the platform.

The TikTok CEO is scheduled to testify before House lawmakers next Thursday.

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