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TikTok transfers US user data to Oracle amid reports of access by Chinese workers

TikTok has decided to move data from US servers to the Oracle platform amid reports that employees at its parent company ByteDance in China have repeatedly accessed US users’ private information.

On Friday, a Buzzfeed report citing 14 statements from nine different TikTok employees claimed that engineers in China had access to US data between September 2021 and January 2022. This despite testimony under oath from a TikTok executive during a an October 2021 Senate hearing that a “world-renowned, U.S.-based security team” decides who has access to this data.

The report further claimed that US personnel did not have permission or did not know how to access the data on their own.

Responding to the report, TikTok, in a blog post, said it had “changed the default storage location for US user data” to Oracle and that “100% of US user traffic” is now hosted by the cloud provider, after more than a year. discussions with the company, CNN reported.

TikTok will continue to use its own data centers in Virginia and Singapore to back up information as it strives to “fully pivot” to relying on Oracle in the United States, it said in a statement. article. TikTok did not provide a timeline for the planned removal.

Additionally, TikTok has denied giving U.S. user data to Chinese authorities and that it would refuse if asked to do so.

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“We have brought in world-class internal and external security experts to help us bolster our data security efforts,” a TikTok spokesperson told AFP.

Last year, Joe Biden revoked his predecessor Donald Trump’s executive orders to ban Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat from US markets on national security grounds.

Trump had given his blessing to a plan that would have given TikTok to US tech giant Oracle with investments from distribution powerhouse Walmart, but that deal was not approved in Beijing.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 5:14am on Tuesday June 28th, 2022