A letter to nine Republican senators said it was working to “remove any doubt about the security of US user data.” CEO Shou Zi Chew claims that TikTok stores American user data on servers operated by Oracle, which are audited by a third party. Chew also said the company expects to “wipe US users’ protected data from our own systems and fully migrate to US-based Oracle cloud servers.”
“[We] are working with Oracle on new, advanced data security controls that we hope to finalize in the near future,” Chew wrote in the letter, which was received by “This work brings us closer to the day when we will be able to focus on a novel and best-in-class system for protecting our users’ privacy in the United States, with robust, independent oversight to ensure compliance. “
Chew answered questions in a letter from Republican senators — including Roger Wicker, the senior Republican member of the Senate Commerce Committee — following a report by BuzzFeed News. The disclosure that China-based engineers from ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, accessed non-public data of US users between at least September 2021 and January 2022.
The report also prompted Brendan Carr, the senior Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, to leave her offices. Carr asked companies for a response by July 8 if they choose not to remove TikTok from the App Store or Play Store.
In , Chew refutes much of BuzzFeed News reporting, but acknowledged that ByteDance employees outside the US can access American user data “subject to a robust set of cybersecurity controls and approval protocols overseen by our US-based security team.” Additionally, TikTok has an internal data classification system and approval process in place that assigns access levels based on the classification of the data and requires approvals to access US user data.”
Lawmakers have raised security concerns about TikTok in recent years. In August 2020, then-President Donald Trump would have made it difficult, if not impossible, to operate the app in the United States. The following month, Trump made what was essentially a deal in which Oracle and Walmart would take part in a new company that would run TikTok’s business in the US. Microsoft should also secure a deal.
A federal judge just before it was due to go into effect. President Joe Biden in January 2021, but signed a separate one requiring a security review of that app and WeChat. The following month, the deal between Oracle and Walmart was reportedly finalized.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team independently from our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may receive an affiliate commission.
https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-letter-republican-senators-user-data-oracle-191606774.html?src=rss TikTok tells senators how it plans to beef up data security for American users