ByteDance employees spied on a journalist who revealed information about a bad working environment within the company.
A cat’s account became the target of employees at ByteDance , the company that owns TikTok , in an effort to find employees revealing inside information about the company to a reporter.
Cristina Criddle, a journalist for the Financial Times , told the strange story about how her minimum became the target of the powerful social network.
Buffy is the reporter’s cat, who had an account with 170 followers and just 20 posts. She used the account to watch content on TikTok , since she did not have a personal one.
Spying through a cat’s account
TikTok employees wanted to know the journalist’s IP address to compare it with that of her staff to find out who was meeting with her to leak information, since months before she had reported a bad working environment within BytDance based on anonymous sources inside . of the company.
Criddle found out about it at the end of 2022, when she received a call from TikTok , informing her that two employees of her audit team in China and two others in the United States spied on her through the account in the name of her cat.
A cybersecurity expert consulted by the BBC assured that “someone had to do extra work to find out that the cat’s account really belonged to Cristina.”
After learning that she had been spied on, she sent TikTok a list of questions, which were not answered.
TikTok was unable to trace the employees who communicated with the journalist and ended up firing those responsible for the espionage, assuring that it was restructuring its internal audit team.
TikTok and privacy concerns
This story does not help the social network of ByteDance, a Chinese company, amid questions about its use of the personal information it collects.
In March, the CEO of TikTok , Zhou Zi Chew , had to appear before the United States Congress.
Several countries have already banned TikTok on government devices and everything indicates that the restrictions will continue and be stronger.