TikTok and Oracle eventually merged, but data privacy concerns remain

In Friday, TikTok ads that it has begun directing US users’ data to US-based servers owned by Oracle. But a timely report from BuzzFeed News questions what TikTok’s promise really holds, claiming that China-based TikTok employees have “repeatedly” accessed US consumer data for at least several months.

In recordings of internal staff meetings and presentations received from BuzzFeed NewsTikTok employees reportedly mentioned that they had to ask their Chinese counterparts for access to user data in the United States, as they themselves did not have access to that data. A member of the TikTok Trust and Security Department said “Everything is visible in China”, while another said that a Chinese-based engineer “had access to everything”.

These events are reported to have occurred at least from September 2021 and January 2022 and similar detailed details follow from CNBC last year.

TikTok has faced years of criticism for potentially exposing US users to China, where TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based. In 2020, former President Donald Trump threatened TikTok with a nationwide ban and tried to force the company to separate its US-based assets from ByteDance, calling it threat to national security.

While TikTok actually never DoJ to sell its US-based assets, he discussed turning the American software company Oracle into its “trusted technology partner. ” IN the deal looked like it was in the final stages after President Joe Biden took office but graduated reappears in March with reports on something called Project Texas.

This initiative, which concerns the Texas-based Oracle headquarters, should keep US users ‘data on Oracles’ servers by denying access to China-based ByteDance. It appears that some form of this deal is underway as TikTok announces its transition to Oracle’s servers.

“For more than a year, we have been working with Oracle on several measures as part of our business relationship to better protect our application, systems and consumer data security in the United States,” said Albert Kalamug, head of TikTok Security and Security in the United States. public policy writes. “Today, 100% of consumer traffic in the United States is directed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.”

The company added that it will use its Virginia and Singapore-based backup servers, but aims to delete users’ personal data from those servers in order to “fully target Oracle’s cloud servers located in the United States.” It is not clear when TikTok plans to make a complete change to Oracle’s servers and the company did not respond immediately to On the edgerequest for comment.

“These are critical steps, but we can do more,” Kalamug said. “We know that we are among the most carefully tested platforms in terms of security, and we strive to remove any doubts about the security of user data in the United States.”

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