TikTok moves US users’ data to Oracle amid reports of access by Chinese workers

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

A Buzzfeed report on Friday 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 is despite a TikTok executive’s sworn testimony in an October 2021 Senate hearing that a “world-renowned, US-based security team” decides who gets access to this data.

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

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

TikTok will continue to use its own data centers in Virginia and Singapore to backup information as it works to “fully pivot” to relying on Oracle in the United States, it said in a post. TikTok did not provide a timeframe for the planned deletion.

Moreover, TikTok denied giving US user data to Chinese officials and that it would refuse if asked to do so.

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

Joe Biden last year revoked executive orders from his predecessor Donald Trump seeking to ban Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat from US markets on national security concerns.

Trump had given his blessing to a plan that would have given TikTok to US tech giant Oracle with investments from retail powerhouse Walmart, but that deal failed to win approval in Beijing.

(With inputs from agencies)