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TikTok moves to ease fears amid report workers in China accessed US users’ data

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theguardian.com

TikTok has said that Oracle will store all the data from its US users, in a bid to allay fears about its safety in the hands of a platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.The move comes as a report from BuzzFeed news, citing leaked audio from TikTok in-house meetings, said ByteDance employees in China have repeatedly accessed private information about US TikTok users.The popular video snippet sharing service has fended off concerns about the ability of engineers in China to access information about US users that isn’t public.

It is common for some engineers at internet firms to be granted access to data, and TikTok told AFP it is trying to minimize that kind of system privilege.“Similar to industry peers, we will continue to drive our goal of limiting the number of employees who have access to user data and the scenarios where data access is enabled,” said Roland Cloutier, the TikTok chief information security officer, in a blog post highlighted by the company.“Our goal is to minimize data access across regions so that, for example, employees in the (Asia Pacific) region, including China, would have very minimal access to user data from the EU and US.”TikTok has been adamant that it has never given US user data to Chinese officials and that it would refuse if asked to do so.“We’ve brought in world class internal and external security experts to help us strengthen our data security efforts,” a TikTok spokesperson told AFP.

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