TikTok: Logs, Logs, Logs

Elliot Alderson
6 min readAug 3, 2020

We are in 2020 and the US president is about to ban TikTok, a video-sharing social network mobile app, because “it poses a risk to US national security”. At the same time, Microsoft started discussions on a potential TikTok purchase in the United States. TikTok has received a lot of media coverage lately, but how much of it is factual? This is what I will try to answer in this series of articles. Each article will answer a very specific question. It is time to put the facts back on the table.


  • TikTok offers plethora of features to their users thanks to its million of lines long code. As such, a single article can not cover a question as broad and vague as “does TikTok poses a threat to US national security?”. That’s why I’ll cover the matter over several articles all focused on specific subjects.
  • My name is Baptiste Robert, I’m a French security researcher. I’ve been analysing mobile apps for years. You can find my public work at fs0c131y.com/press and my stupid tweets at twitter.com/fs0c131y.
  • My goal here is to be totally transparent. I will share everything you need to double check what I wrote in this article.
  • If you’d like to skip the technical details, a TL;DR is available at the end of the article.

I) Introduction



Elliot Alderson

🇫🇷 Hacker. Fight disinformation at Predicta Lab. Not completely schizophrenic. Not related to USANetwork.