Due to growing concerns that TikTok engineers in China may have accessed the data of American users between September 2021 and January 2022, the firm tried to reassure American legislators by stating that it is taking measures to “strengthen data security.”
In a letter to nine senators, it was acknowledged that certain workers stationed in China had access to data from American customers. The letter also emphasized that the method necessitates the personnel to pass a number of internal security measures.
The letter’s contents, which were originally published by The New York Times, include further information about how TikTok intends to address users’ worries about data security through a multifaceted project known as “Project Texas.”
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew stated in a message that workers operating outside of the United States, including those in China, “may have access to TikTok U.S. user data subject to a number of sophisticated cybersecurity controls and authorized approval mechanisms oversaw by our U.S.-based security team.”
It emphasizes that this access will be “very limited” in scope and in accordance with protocols created in collaboration with the U.S. government. This includes what it refers to as a limited set of non-sensitive TikTok U.S. user data, such as public videos and comments, to meet interoperability requirements.
U.S. politicians have long targeted TikTok, a well-known social video-sharing platform from Beijing-based ByteDance, due to potential national security issues that may result from the Chinese government seeking data belonging to American users directly from the parent company.
However, the corporation sought to reassure readers in the letter that it had never been requested to transfer data to Chinese officials and that it would not submit to such requests.
Further affirming that all data from American users is sent to Oracle’s domestic cloud infrastructure, TikTok said that it is collaborating with Oracle on more sophisticated data security procedures that it wants to implement “shortly.”
Additionally, the ByteDance-owned business announced that it intends to completely move to Oracle cloud servers located in the United States and erase all U.S. data from its own backup servers located in Singapore and the United States.
Following a story from BuzzFeed News that claimed regular access by ByteDance workers, citing unidentified employees who said “everything is viewed in China” and mentioned a “Master Admin” who “has access to everything,” TikTok has come under increased scrutiny.
The organization stated that the claims and hints were “incorrect and are not substantiated by facts,” adding that those involved in these programs “do not have visibility into the complete picture.”