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Chinese Embassy Lobbies Congress to Save TikTok

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I honestly don’t know why the Senate continues to drag its feet with the bill that would put an end to Chinese ownership of TikTok. We get news on an almost daily basis now that indicates US data is available to Chinese engineers, contrary to the claims made by TikTok’s lobbyists. Case in point, Forbes has a story up today titled “TikTok Mishandled The Data Of Hundreds Of Top American Advertisers.”
For years, data about TikTok’s prized advertisers—which range from small mom-and-pop businesses to giant multinationals—was widely available to staff at both TikTok and ByteDance, according to internal documents, communications, videos and screenshots obtained by Forbes, as well as multiple sources across TikTok. That left sensitive and competitive information from the likes of Amazon, Disney and the New York Times vulnerable to being accessed or misused by employees most anywhere, including in China, a fear now at the center of federal legislation threatening to ban TikTok in the United States…
Some of the most-used programs inside TikTok’s advertising arm were built by ByteDance, according to the internal materials and five people who worked at the company in 2023 and 2024. As a result, some said, ByteDance workers had broad access not only to basics like advertisers’ emails, but also to financial agreements and tax information; data from “pixels” placed on advertisers’ websites to glean intel on customers; delicate details on how companies are targeting those customers; and creative assets that could be valuable for their competitors…
“If you’re an advertiser advertising on this platform, your information [could] be accessed by global employees and distributed for other purposes,” said one source who worked in TikTok’s advertising shop, which spans New York and Texas, for two years. “The advertiser platform was done in the Wild West and wasn’t done with the same things that maybe, let’s say, Meta or X have done to protect advertiser information from being shared.”
Another story published a few days ago by Fortune also undermines the company’s claims that US data has been isolated from the prying eyes of the Chinese parent company. Not so according to 11 former employees including Evan Turner.

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