TikTok has written to US senators to reassure them of steps it has taken to secure US users’ data on the site, following concerns that Chinese TikTok technicians had access to US account information.
In its letter to nine senators, the China-based social media giant admitted that some Chinese engineers had breached US users’ information. The company has also outlined its steps to prevent such an incident from happening again.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote in the June 30 letter: “Workers outside the US, including China-based employees, can access TikTok US user data subject to a series of robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols overseen by our US-based security team. “
Foreign employees, the company says, will only be able to see U.S. videos, comments, and other data it describes as non-sensitive.
Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, who was the first Senate author of an initial letter to TikTok about the data access allegations, said of the letter: “TikTok’s response confirms our fears about the influence of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) in the company was founded.
“The China-run company should have been clear from the start, but it tried to cover up its work in secret. Americans need to know if they’re on TikTok, communist China has their information.”
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and there are fears in the US that it could endanger national security if Chinese authorities use it to obtain US personal data. Tensions reached their peak in 2020 when President Donald Trump threatened to ban the site in the US.
The social media company said in the letter it has never been asked to hand over data to the Chinese government and never would.
They added that all of its US data is held in the US through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and that it is constantly working with the software multinational to strengthen and secure its data.
In addition, some US data is kept in backup storage facilities in Singapore, but TikTok told the senators it plans to delete this data to keep it exclusively in the US.
a 17 june Buzzfeed news A report that leaked audio from 80 internal TikTok meetings in China revealed US private data being viewed “repeatedly” sparked these new concerns about the company, prompting senators to write to TikTok. TikTok denied Buzzfeed’s allegations, calling them “false”.