TikTok, a video-sharing app owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd., revealed that select workers outside the United States had access to information about American users, eliciting fresh condemnation from legislators concerned about the social network’s data-sharing practises.
The disclosure was revealed in a letter to nine U.S. senators, who accused TikTok and its parent company of monitoring US people and demanded answers to a reoccurring line of inquiry for the business. Do Chinese employees have access to American consumers’ data? What role do these workers have in designing TikTok’s algorithm? Is any of this information shared with the Chinese government?
According to a letter acquired by Bloomberg News on June 30th, China-based staff who pass a number of internal security checks may now access particular information about TikTok’s US users, including public videos and comments. He added that none of this data is shared with the Chinese government and that it is subject to “strict cybersecurity processes.”
The social network indicated that it is working with the US government to improve data security for this content, especially anything declared “protected” by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS. This current attempt, codenamed “Project Texas,” entails physically keeping US data in data centres on US computers controlled by software behemoth Oracle Corp. TikTok’s platform is also being migrated to Oracle’s cloud architecture, allowing US customers to access and install the programme and algorithm from local data centres.
“TikTok’s statement demonstrates that our concerns regarding the CCP’s influence in the corporation were well grounded,” Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn said on Friday. “The Chinese-owned corporation should have been transparent from the outset, but it chose to conceal its activities.” Americans must be aware that if they use TikTok, Communist China has access to their data.”
In a letter dated June 27, numerous Republican senators cited a BuzzFeed News report suggesting that Chinese business engineers had access to TikTok’s US customer data. TikTok and its parent firm, according to the congressmen, “are utilising their access to a treasure mine of U.S. consumer data to spy on Americans.” TikTok’s response was originally reported on by the New York Times.