TikTok ditches its servers in favor of Oracle after new data exposed in China allegations

TikTok said it had made changes to its storage of American data following new allegations that the platform’s Chinese parent company accessed data on American users.

Engineers in China had access to U.S. data between September 2021 and January 2022, according to leaked audio of more than 80 internal TikTok meetings obtained by Buzzfeed.

TikTok is working with U.S. tech company Oracle to create data management protocols that Oracle will audit, Albert Calamug, TikTok’s U.S. security public policy officer, wrote on the company’s blog.

“We’ve changed the default storage location for U.S. user data,” Karamug wrote on TikTok’s blog on Friday. “Today, 100% of user traffic in the U.S. is routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We still use our U.S. and Singapore data centers for backup, but as we continue our work, we want to remove U.S. users from our own data centers of private data and moved entirely to Oracle Cloud servers located in the United States.”

TikTok has previously said that its U.S. employees control the data of Americans on the video platform.

TikTok Vice President Michael Beckman told the Senate Commerce Committee in October that access to Americans’ data was controlled by his U.S. team, and he spoke with Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, over its Chinese owner Bytes. There has been a dispute over Beats’ access to people’s data.

Mr. Blakeman’s testimony contrasted with the private conversations of his colleagues revealed in leaked audio of the company’s review.

According to Buzzfeed, a member of TikTok’s trust and safety team said in September that everything was seen in China, and at a separate meeting in September, an employee identified a Beijing engineer as having full access. “Master Administrator”.

Lawmakers are fighting for TikTok’s answer. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington Republican, said she wanted to expose how technology sends Americans’ data to China.

“Housing Energy and Business [Committee] Republicans have previously asked TikTok to testify before our committee and will continue to urge them to testify in order to provide Americans with complete and honest answers,” Ms. Rogers said in a statement. “If they continue to refuse to appear before the committee, Then we will be forced to consider forcing them to testify. “

House Republicans aren’t the only lawmakers eager for an explanation from TikTok. Six Republican senators sent a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew asking for information on the company’s misinformation and disinformation policies with Russian state-sanctioned media regarding its war in Ukraine.

Republican Senators Steve Daines of Montana, John Barrasso of Wyoming, John Cornyn of Texas, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Cynthia wrote, The company’s failure to enforce its own policies appears to have led to a lot of Russian propaganda and amplified “Kremlin lies.” Loomis of Wyoming and Roger Wick of Mississippi.

“We are deeply concerned that, by failing to enforce this policy equally, TikTok is spreading pro-war propaganda to the Russian public, potentially adding to an already devastating population of Ukrainians and Russians alike,” the senators wrote. casualties.” .

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

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