TikTok, confirmed employees outside of the US can access US users data, stoking further criticism from lawmakers who have raised alarms about the social network’s data-sharing practices.
Chinese employees can access certain data on TikTok’s US users, including public videos and comments, TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew said in the June 30 letter obtained by Bloomberg News.
None of that information is shared with the Chinese government, and it is subject to “robust cybersecurity controls.Shou Zi Chew – TikTok CEO
The social network said it’s working with the US government on strengthening data security around that information particularly anything defined as protected by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, or CFIUS. This new effort, called Project Texas, includes physically storing US information in data centers on US servers owned by software giant Oracle Corp. TikTok is also shifting its platform to Oracle’s cloud infrastructure, which means the app and the algorithm will be accessed and deployed for US users from domestic data centers.
TikTok’s response confirms our fears about the CCP’s influence in the company were well founded. The Chinese-run company should have come clean from the start, but it attempted to shroud its work in secrecy. Americans need to know if they are on TikTok, Communist China has their information.Marsha Blackburn – Republican Senator of Tennessee
Several senators, all Republicans, in a June 27 letter said TikTok’s US consumer data was accessed by company engineers in China. The lawmakers said in the letter that TikTok and its parent are using their access to a treasure trove of US consumer data to surveil US.