Following concerns that data from U.S. users was accessed by TikTok engineers in China between September 2021 and January 2022, the agency sought to reassure U.S. lawmakers that it was taking steps to “strengthen data security.”
The acknowledgment that some China-based employees may have access to information from U.S. users came in a letter to nine senators, which further noted that the procedure requires individuals to clear numerous internal security protocols.
The content of the letter, first Report By The New York Times, “Project Texas” shares more details about TikTok’s plans to address data security concerns through a multifaceted initiative.
“Employees outside the United States, including China-based employees, can access TikTok US user data subject to strong cyber security control and approval protocols overseen by our US-based security team,” wrote TikTok CEO Shaw Ji Chiu. Memo
To meet the interoperability requirement, it is called a narrow set of non-sensitive TikTok US user data, such as public videos and comments, emphasizing that the scope of this access will be “very limited” and in accordance with the protocol developed in collaboration with the US government.
TikTok, a popular social video-sharing service based in Beijing-based BitDance, has long posed a national security risk to U.S. lawmakers, which could arise because the Chinese government requests data related to U.S. users directly from its parent agency.
But in the letter, the agency aimed to reassure that it had never been asked to provide data to Chinese authorities and would not accept it. Such official inquiries.
TikTok further reiterated that 100% of U.S. user data has been sent to the Oracle Cloud infrastructure in the United States and that it is working with enterprise software firms on more advanced data security controls that it hopes to finalize in the “near future”.
On top of that, the ByteDance-owned company says it plans to delete U.S. data from its own backup servers in Singapore and the U.S., and will completely switch to Oracle Cloud Servers in the U.S.
The latest wave of scrutiny on TikTok follows a BuzzFeed News report alleging frequent access by BitDance staff, citing anonymous staff who said “everything can be seen in China” and a “master admin” whose ” Everything has access. “
The agency called the allegations and hints “inaccurate and not supported by information”, noting that those working on the projects “do not have visibility in the full picture.”