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TikTok finally moves US users' data to Oracle servers in the US, but privacy may still remain an issue

TikTok finally moves US users' data to Oracle servers in the US, but privacy may still remain an issue 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 that it’s

  • Posted on 20th Jun, 2022 20:37 PM
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TikTok finally moves US users' data to Oracle servers in the US, but privacy may still remain an issue Image

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 that it’s delivering what it previously assured by shifting US users’ data from ByteDance servers to Oracle in the US, the data privacy is still a concern, here’s why. Also Read - Facebook is planning a major redesign to compete with TikTok

Oracle holds TikTok’s US user data, but it may still be accessed by China

TikTok has always said that the data of US users is stored in the US itself. However, a recent report by BuzzFeed News reveals that the US user data was repeatedly accessed from China. The publication has leaked audio from over 80 internal TikTok meetings and recordings, revealing that the China engineers had access to the US users’ data between September 2021 to January 2022. Also Read - Instagram Reel's biggest rival TikTok may relaunch in India soon: Here's what we know so far

As per a recording, a member of TikTok’s trust and safety department allegedly said that “Everything is seen in China.” Another employee stated a China-based engineer “has access to everything.” Also Read - TikTok planning a ‘major push’ into gaming, starts conducting tests in Vietnam: Report

It is worth noting that this happened despite, TikTok’s testimony of the safety of US user data back in October 2021.

Now, the new blog post by TikTok has confirmed 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 safety controls such as gated entry points, firewalls, and intrusion detection technologies. It’s also important to maintain backup data storage locations to guard against catastrophic scenarios where user data could be lost, and our data center in Singapore serves as the backup data storage location for our US users.”

Commenting on this, Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council of Foreign Relations said, “Physical location does not matter if the data can still be accessed from China.”

He further stated, “concern would be that data would still end up in the hands of Chinese intelligence if people in China were still accessing.”

While the shift to Oracle servers for US users’ traffic may mitigate the privacy issue of the US users to some extent, the backup is still being done in Singapore data centers. Also, there’s still no guarantee if China isn’t actually accessing the US users’ data from the physical data center in the US.

TikTok finally moves US users' data to Oracle servers in the US, but privacy may still remain an issue View Story

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