TikTok recently confirmed via a blog post that it has finally started routing US users’ data to its US-based servers owned by Oracle. While the China-based social media platform, owned by ByteDance, promised it had previously been assured by moving US users’ data from ByteDance servers to Oracle in the US, data privacy is still a concern, here’s why. .
Oracle has access to TikTok’s US user data, but it can still be accessed by China
Tiktok has always said that the data of US users is stored in the US only. However, a recent report by Buzzfeed News suggests that US user data was repeatedly accessed from China. The publication has leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings and recordings, which reveal that engineers in China had access to data on US users between September 2021 and January 2022.
According to a recording, a member of TikTok’s Trust and Security Department reportedly said that “everything is watched in China.” Another employee said a Chinese engineer “has access to everything.”
It is worth noting that this happened despite TikTok’s testimony to the security of US user data in October 2021.
Now, a new TikTok blog post confirms that “100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.” However, the blog post continues to say “we still use our US and Singapore data centers for backup.”
“Our Virginia data center includes physical and logical security controls such as gated entry points, firewalls and intrusion detection technologies. It is also important to maintain backup data storage locations to protect against catastrophic scenarios where user data could be lost, And our data center in Singapore serves as a backup data storage location for our US users.
Commenting on this, Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, said, “No matter the physical location the data can still be accessed from China.”
“The concern would be that if people were still accessing China, the data would end up in the hands of Chinese intelligence,” he added.
While the change to Oracle servers for US users’ traffic may ease US users’ privacy problems to some extent, backups are still being done in Singapore data centers. Plus, there’s still no guarantee that China isn’t actually accessing US users’ data from a physical data center in the US.
A TikTok post finally moves US users’ data to Oracle servers in the US, but privacy may still remain an issue appeared earlier on BGR India.