TikTok Moves Data of US Users to Oracle Servers, Ensuring Data Security
TikTok said it has finished transferring data on its US customers to Oracle servers, which might satisfy US regulatory worries about data integrity on the favorite short video app.
The action comes almost two years after a US national security council ordered parent firm ByteDance to sell TikTok because of concerns that US user data may be handed to China’s communist government.
TikTok is one of the world’s most popular social media applications, with over 1 billion active users and the United States as its biggest market.
The US has been expanding its scrutiny of app developers for the personal data they manage, mainly if it includes US military or intelligence employees.
After Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump as US president last year, the order to sell over TikTok was not carried out.
According to Reuters, the body, known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), has continued to have concerns about TikTok’s data security, which ByteDance is now attempting to remedy.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment, and the US Treasury refused to comment.
Reuters reported in March that TikTok was close to finalizing an agreement with Oracle to keep the data of its US customers.
When ByteDance was under US pressure to sell TikTok in 2020, Oracle contemplated buying a minority share in the app. According to TikTok, the cloud computing giant now keeps all of TikTok’s US customer data on Oracle data servers in the US as part of the new collaboration.
Oracle did not respond to requests for comment.
The security team for data
TikTok had traditionally kept its US customer data in its own Virginia data centers, with a backup in Singapore. According to the company, it will now remove personal information on US customers from its data centers and depend solely on Oracle’s US servers.
According to the business, the data is still being backed up at the Virginia and Singapore centers.
According to a business spokeswoman, TikTok has also established a specific US data security team known as “USDS” as a gatekeeper for US user information and ringfencing it from ByteDance.
The USDS is led by Andrew Bonillo, a former executive of TikTok’s global security department, and reports to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, according to a spokesman.
According to Reuters, the business is exploring a framework in which the team functions independently and is not subject to TikTok’s oversight or monitoring.
Will Farrell, who formerly worked under TikTok’s Chief Security Officer Roland Cloutier, is another top executive at USDS. Content moderation staff, developers, and user and product operations make up the USDS team.
ByteDance is one of China’s most rapidly developing companies. It owns Jinri Toutiao, the country’s top news aggregator, and Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese equivalent.
In June 2021, Biden rescinded Trump-era administrative orders that tried to prohibit new WeChat and TikTok downloads. New regulations on app data security are being written by the Commerce Department, which may limit how foreign-based applications access US user data or possibly the banning of apps regarded as significant security threats.
Last year, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo claimed the government is “extremely concerned about safeguarding Americans’ data,” but she criticized Trump’s strategy.
“Doing some worthless executive order on TikTok is not the way to achieve it,” she remarked.