TikTok confirms US consumer information may be accessed in China

TikTok confirms that China-based employees of parent company ByteDance in China have access to US user data under certain circumstances in a letter obtained by The New York Times answered 9 questions from Republican senators on this issue.

“Employees outside the US, including employees in China, may have access to US TikTok user data subject to a range of robust cybersecurity controls and protocols. authorization approvals are overseen by our US security team,” TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote in the letter.

“TikTok has an internal data classification system and approval process in place that assigns access levels based on data classification and approval requirements for access to US user data,” Chew said. said more. “The level of approval required is based on the sensitivity of the data according to the classification system.”

Sal Rodriguez, now a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, first reported to CNBC Last year, ByteDance gained access to US data and was closely involved in decision making for TikTok.

A new light has been shed on privacy and security concerns after News about BuzzFeed It was recently reported, based on audio of internal meetings it obtained, that ByteDance employees multiple accesses to US user data for a period of at least four months, and employees in the United States are not authorized to access it.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News about its report, a TikTok spokesperson in part said: “We know we’re one of the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we I wish to remove any doubt about the security of US user data.”

On the same day BuzzFeed News published its story, TikTok announced that “100% of user traffic in the US is being directed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure”, instead of being hosted in its data centers. alone in the US and Singapore.

In the letter, Chew wrote that the BuzzFeed News report “contains allegations and insinuations that are inaccurate and not supported by facts.”

After BuzzFeed News published its report, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr urge Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.

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