On Friday, TikTok announced that it has started routing US users’ data to US-based servers owned by Oracle. but timely report from Buzzfeed News TikTok employees based in China have “repeatedly” accessed US users’ data over the course of at least several months.
In the recording of internal staff meetings and presentations received by Buzzfeed News, TikTok employees reportedly referred to asking their partners in China to access US user data, as they were not able to access this data themselves. A member of the team from TikTok’s Trust and Security Department reportedly said that “everything is seen in China,” while another employee said a China-based engineer “has access to everything.”
These incidents reportedly happened from at least September 2021 and January 2022, and follow similar allegations detailed by CNBC last year.
TikTok has faced criticism over the years for potentially exposing US users’ data in China, where TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based. In 2020, former President Donald Trump threatened TikTok with a nationwide ban and attempted to force the company to separate its US-based assets from ByteDance, calling it a threat to national security.
while tiktok never really did Discussed making US software company Oracle its “trusted technology partner”. The deal looked like it was in its final stages after President Joe Biden took office, but ended again in March with reports of something called Project Texas.
The initiative, which refers to Oracle’s Texas headquarters, is supposed to protect US users’ data in Oracle servers, excluding access from China-based ByteDance. It looks like some form of this deal is going on right now, as TikTok has announced its transition to Oracle’s servers.
“For more than a year, we have been working with Oracle on a number of measures as part of our business relationship to better protect the security of our apps, systems, and US user data,” said TikTok’s American Security and Chief Albert Calamugh said. Writes public policy. “Today, 100% of US user traffic is being sent to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.”
The company said it will use its Virginia and Singapore-based servers for backup, but aims to remove users’ private data from these servers in order to “pivot completely to the Oracle Cloud servers located in the US.” It’s not clear when TikTok planned to make the changes completely to Oracle’s servers, and the company did not immediately respond. ledgeComment request.
“These are important steps, but there is much more we can do,” Calamug continues. “We know that we are among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubts about the security of US user data.”