TikTok assures lawmakers it's protecting user data from Chinese staff


TikTok assures lawmakers it's protecting user data from Chinese staff

Tilting U.S. lawmakers' fears about their personal information being compromised by Chinese engineers between September 2021 and January 2020, TikTok issued a statement claiming it is taking steps to "enhance data security."

The admission that some employees based in China have access to information from users in the United States was made in a letter that was sent to nine senators. The letter also noted that the procedure requires the individuals to pass a number of different internal security protocols before they can access the information.

The contents of the letter, which were first reported by The New York Times, reveal additional information regarding TikTok's plans to address data security concerns through a multi-pronged initiative that has been given the codename "Project Texas."

According to the memo written by TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, "Employees outside the U.S., including China-based employees, can have access to TikTok U.S. user data subject to a series of robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols overseen by our U.S.-based security team." These controls and protocols are overseen by TikTok's U.S.-based security team.

This includes what it calls a narrow set of non-sensitive TikTok U.S. user data, such as public videos and comments, to meet interoperability requirements, while emphasizing that this access will be "very limited" in scope and pursuant to protocols developed in collaboration with the U.S. government. This was done to meet the requirements of the interoperability requirements.

ByteDance, the company that operates the popular social video-sharing platform TikTok, is headquartered in Beijing. For some time now, lawmakers in the United States have been keeping a close eye on the company because of concerns regarding the potential threat to national security posed by the Chinese government's ability to directly request user data from TikTok's parent company.

However, in the letter, the business attempted to reassure the customer that it had never been asked to provide data to the Chinese authorities and that it would not comply with such requests from the government.

In addition, TikTok reaffirmed that all of the data from users in the United States is transmitted to Oracle's cloud infrastructure, which is situated in the United States. The company also stated that it is collaborating with the enterprise software company on the development of more advanced data security controls, which it plans to complete "in the near future."

In addition to this, the company that is owned by ByteDance has stated that it intends to delete all of the data pertaining to the United States from its own backup servers located in Singapore and the United States and make a complete transition to Oracle cloud servers that are located in the United States.

The most recent round of investigations into TikTok was sparked by a report published by BuzzFeed News that made allegations regarding frequent access by ByteDance staff. The report cited anonymous employees who stated that "everything is seen in China" and made reference to a "Master Admin" who "has access to everything."

The company has refuted the allegations and insinuations, stating that they are "incorrect and are not supported by facts," and has pointed out that the individuals who work on these projects "do not have visibility into the full picture."


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