A recent investigation by US digital security firms confirmed that the Tik Tok app had removed code that made references to Chinese servers that had been discovered in July, which has raised doubts about whether the app used those servers to send information to the Chinese government.
Tik Tok has had a difficult few months in the international market. The video app has been accused by the US government of spying on its citizens and sending users’ private data to the Chinese government. It has also been banned in India. These accusations were later exacerbated when it was discovered, thanks to an iOS update on iPhone, that the app was secretly copying the contents of a phone’s clipboard.
Although Bytedance, Tik Tok developers, has said multiple times that no data is sent to Beijing, concern about possible espionage has led the United States to call for a complete ban unless a US company buys it.
Due to these problems, developers began to remove features that could generate suspicion among users. Ironically, this cleanup job has also raised suspicions thanks to the removal of code that referenced a group of Chinese servers.
It all started in July when the San Francisco security firm, Disconnect, found within the Tik Tok code a series of references to various servers located in China. However, a review of the App’s latest version showed that this code was removed.
From The Times:
Patrick Jackson, the chief technology officer of Disconnect, said that while he did not witness any data transmission by the app to Chinese server computers, he found the existence and subsequent removal of the code suspicious.
Tik Tok has retaliated against the US government over the banning of the app, with a lawsuit that is expected to fail.