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TikTok says it’s storing US data domestically amid renewed security concerns

TikTok says it’s a “important milestone” towards its guarantees to beef up the safety of its US customers’ information. In a brand new replace, the corporate says it has “modified the default storage location of US consumer information.”

As the corporate notes, it had already saved a lot of its consumer information in the US, at a Virginia-based information middle. However beneath a brand new partnership with Oracle, the corporate has migrated US consumer site visitors to a brand new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

“Right now, 100% of US consumer site visitors is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” the corporate wrote in a weblog publish. “We nonetheless use our US and Singapore information facilities for backup, however as we proceed our work we anticipate to delete US customers’ non-public information from our personal information facilities and totally pivot to Oracle cloud servers positioned within the US.” Moreover, TikTok says it has made “operational modifications,” together with a brand new division “with US-based management, to solely handle US consumer information for TikTok.”

The strikes are a part of a by TikTok to handle US officers’ over how consumer information is dealt with by TikTok and dad or mum firm ByteDance. The corporate has been working to separate US consumer information in order that it’s not accessible to China-based ByteDance as US lawmakers eye to curb the affect of Chinese language tech firms.

Nonetheless, the brand new safeguards are unlikely to totally sway critics of TikTok, who say the corporate nonetheless hasn’t addressed all potential issues about how US consumer information is dealt with. In reality, simply after TikTok revealed its weblog publish, BuzzFeed Information a report that raises new questions on how the corporate handles the info of its US customers.

The report, which was primarily based on hours of inner conferences leaked to BuzzFeed, says that “China-based staff of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic information about US TikTok customers.” The recordings, which cowl a time interval between final September and January 2022, supply new particulars concerning the advanced effort to chop off Bytedance’s entry to US consumer information.

The report quotes an outdoor guide employed by TikTok to supervise a few of the work saying that they believed there was “backdoor to entry consumer information in nearly all” of the corporate’s inner instruments. It additionally quotes statements from a number of staff who say “that engineers in China had entry to US information between September 2021 and January 2022, on the very least.”

It additionally notes that whereas information deemed “delicate,” like customers’ delivery dates and telephone numbers, shall be saved within the Oracle servers, different details about US-based customers might stay accessible to ByteDance. “ByteDance’s China-based staff might proceed to have entry to insights about what American TikTok customers are excited by, from cat movies to political opinions,” the report says.

That will not appear as critical as extra private info like birthdays and telephone numbers, but it surely’s precisely the type of particulars that some lawmakers within the US have raised issues about. US officers have questioned whether or not the app’s “For You” algorithm might be used as a method of .

“We all know we’re among the many most scrutinized platforms from a safety standpoint, and we intention to take away any doubt concerning the safety of US consumer information,” TikTok mentioned in a press release to BuzzFeed Information.

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