TikTok spied on Forbes journalists

According to materials reviewed by Forbes, TikTok parent ByteDance tracked multiple Forbes journalists as part of this covert surveillance campaign, which was designed to unearth the source of leaks inside the company, reports Emily Baker-White of Forbes.

Baker-White reports, “The investigation, internally known as Project Raven, began this summer after BuzzFeed News published a story revealing that China-based ByteDance employees had repeatedly accessed U.S. user data, based on more than 80 hours of audio recordings of internal TikTok meetings. According to internal ByteDance documents reviewed by Forbes, Project Raven involved the company’s Chief Security and Privacy Office, was known to TikTok’s Head of Global Legal Compliance, and was approved by ByteDance employees in China. It tracked Emily Baker-White, Katharine Schwab and Richard Nieva, three Forbes journalists that formerly worked at BuzzFeed News.

“‘This is a direct assault on the idea of a free press and its critical role in a functioning democracy,’ says Randall Lane, the chief content officer of Forbes. ‘We await a direct response from ByteDance, as this raises fundamental questions about what they are doing with the information they compile from TikTok users.’

“ByteDance and TikTok did not respond to multiple requests for comment via phone and email.”

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