Professor grilled during fiery interview regarding TikTok financed

A cyber security professor has failed to disclose how much he was paid by TikTok to conduct research into the Beijing-controlled platform’s privacy policies during a fiery live interview.

Monash University Cyber Security Professor Nigel Phair said he “stands by” the TikTok commissioned report he conducted which reveals the app’s privacy practices are consistent with other platforms like Facebook and Google.

When pressed by Sky News Australia host Laura Jayes on concerns relating to TikTok’s data collection, Mr Phair said it was TikTok who “gave me the terms about what they wanted me to look at”.

Ms Jayes continued to ask Mr Phair if he had been paid by TikTok for his work, to which the professor replied, “yep”.

The professor said it was “commercial in confidence” when he refused to then answer how much exactly it was he received from TikTok.

“Do you think there’s a chance that here, your expertise and your reputation is being used by China to try and make people feel comfortable with their data collection?” Mr Jayes continued to question.

“I don’t think so,” Mr Phair replied.

Last year TikTok admitted it had used its app to spy on journalists, with data being used by ByteDance employees to track the reporters’ physical movements – those staff were sacked after the spying was made public.

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