TikTok said it is transferring US users’ data to Oracle servers located in the US.
The transfer announcement was overshadowed by a report indicating that in January of this year, TikTok employees in China had access to the data of its users in the United States.
The report, which cites recordings from 80 internal company meetings, shows that US employees of the Chinese platform repeatedly consulted with colleagues in China to understand how user data flows in the US because they did not have permission or knowledge of how to access the data themselves.
“Everything is seen in China,” the report said, quoting a member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety Department, as saying at a meeting in September 2021.
The report also casts doubt on the short video giant’s involvement with Beijing, a longstanding accusation that former President Donald Trump has inflated, and the company’s public comments about the independence of its US unit.
For years, US officials have expressed concern that TikTok could allow the authoritarian government in China to access data the company collects from Americans and users from other countries.
It escalated in September 2020 when the Trump administration said it was banning Chinese mobile apps from US app stores.
India banned TikTok and several other Chinese-owned apps in 2020 due to national security concerns.
The Chinese platform and its parent company, ByteDance, have said publicly that they will never hand over user data in the United States. The company has also been in talks with Microsoft and Oracle to sell the US unit. She explored selling stakes to US investors to comply with Trump’s order.
The Biden administration repealed the executive order under Trump. He replaced it with an order that called for a broader review of a number of foreign-controlled apps that could pose a security threat to Americans and their data.
Has China accessed Tik Tok user data?
Tech Tech said in a blog post: “The entire data of a user in the United States is being routed to the cloud infrastructure from Oracle in the United States. ”
“We still use data centers in the US and Singapore for backup,” she added. However, we expect that data for US users will be deleted from our data centers. and completely transferred to the Oracle cloud servers located in the United States.
A March report said the two companies were close to finalizing the deal. The platform said it was also making operational changes, including creating a US-based command to manage user data in the US.
The platform added: These are critical steps. But there is more we can do. We know that we are among the most audited platforms from a security point of view. We aim to remove any doubt about the security of user data in the United States.