TikTok Pushes Back Against Forbes Report, Denies The Usage of Specific Location Data to Track U.S. Individuals


TikTok on Friday denied the usage of specific location data to track certain U.S. users, striking back against a Forbes report that alleged the Chinese-owned video app was planning on carrying out such monitoring.

On Thursday, Forbes published an article alleging TikTok of using its app “to monitor the personal location of some specific American citizens,” citing materials viewed by the publication.

Other allegations include:

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  • The monitoring is carried out by TikTok parent ByteDance’s Internal Audit and Risk Control department, whose leader reports directly to the CEO.
  • The department primarily conducts investigations into misconduct by employees, but it also planned on an occasion to collect location data about a U.S. citizen who never worked at the company.

The Forbes article also stated that it’s unclear whether any data was actually collected.

TikTok hit replied to the article in a series of tweets, claiming it lacks “both rigor and journalistic integrity.”

TikTok said Forbes “chose not to include the portion of our statement that disproved the feasibility of its core allegation: TikTok does not collect precise GPS location information from US users, meaning TikTok could not monitor US users in the way the article suggested.”