TikTok, the Chinese language-owned video app, mentioned on Friday that it was transferring the entire knowledge produced by its American customers by means of servers managed by Oracle, the Silicon Valley firm, in a bid to persuade the U.S. authorities that it’ll not expose the non-public info of Individuals to the Chinese language authorities.
However TikTok added that it might nonetheless retailer its personal backups of that info, doubtlessly complicating these efforts.
The app, which is owned by the Chinese language firm ByteDance, mentioned in a weblog publish that it anticipated to ultimately delete American customers’ “non-public knowledge from our personal knowledge facilities and totally pivot to Oracle cloud servers positioned” in the US. It didn’t say when that might happen.
“For greater than a 12 months, we’ve been working with Oracle on a number of measures as a part of our industrial relationship to raised safeguard our app, programs, and the safety of U.S. person knowledge,” Albert Calamug, who works for TikTok’s public coverage division, mentioned within the publish.
The video app made its announcement earlier than BuzzFeed Information printed an article detailing how TikTok staff felt it was troublesome to efficiently wall off its knowledge from China. In response to recordings the information outlet mentioned it had obtained, TikTok staff mentioned Chinese language engineers had entry to American knowledge as not too long ago as this 12 months.
“As we’ve publicly acknowledged, we’ve introduced in world class inside and exterior safety specialists to assist us strengthen our knowledge safety efforts,” TikTok mentioned in a press release. The corporate added that it had created a unit in Might, led from the US, to “present a better stage of focus and governance” on Individuals’ knowledge safety.
In 2020, President Donald J. Trump ordered ByteDance to promote TikTok over considerations it might expose the non-public info of Individuals to Beijing. Whereas the White Home was mentioned to have reached a deal to promote a part of the app to Oracle and others, it by no means got here to fruition. The Biden administration has continued scrutinizing TikTok and different alternatives for Chinese language firms to manage American knowledge.
A White Home spokeswoman didn’t reply to a request for remark. A spokesman for the Treasury Division, which is a member of the committee that vets international funding in the US, declined to remark. Oracle additionally declined to remark.