TikTok Faces Congressional Scrutiny Amid Data Storage Reports

TikTok Faces Congressional Scrutiny Amid Data Storage Reports
Photograph Credit score: Jonathan Kemper

Following troubling studies concerning the alleged storage of TikTok creators’ delicate monetary info in China, U.S. senators from either side of the aisle are calling out the video-sharing app’s alleged “sample of deceptive or inaccurate responses.”

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) scrutinized TikTok’s alleged misrepresentations – and made clear that the above studies allegedly contradict sworn congressional testimonies from execs – in a letter to CEO Shou Zi Chew. Throughout an look earlier than Congress in March, the Singapore native touted the perceived effectiveness of his app’s purported efforts to guard U.S. person information.

“The underside line is that this: American information, saved on American soil, by an American firm, overseen by American personnel,” relayed Shou Zi Chew. “We name this initiative Undertaking Texas. That’s the place Oracle is headquartered. At this time, U.S. TikTok information is saved by default in Oracle’s servers.

“Solely vetted personnel working in a brand new firm known as TikTok U.S. Information Safety can management entry to this information. … Now there’s nonetheless some work to do,” continued the 40-year-old. “We have now legacy U.S. information sitting in our servers in Virginia and in Singapore. We’re deleting these, and we anticipate that to be full this 12 months. … This eliminates the priority that a few of you’ve shared with me, that TikTok person information will be topic to Chinese language legislation.”

In fact, absent from these remarks is any point out of the potential for monetary particulars’ being saved in China – a degree that the aforesaid lawmakers seized upon of their letter.

“These studies immediately contradict statements you and different TikTok representatives have made to the general public and below oath earlier than Congress about the place TikTok shops U.S. person information and the power of workers in China to entry that info,” the senators wrote.

“If you testified earlier than the Home Committee on Vitality and Commerce in March 2023,” the congressmembers continued, “you equally mentioned that TikTok person information ‘has at all times been saved in Virginia and Singapore prior to now.’ … Nowhere in your response did you point out that TikTok shops person information in China, or that details about U.S. customers — together with delicate info like images and driver’s licenses or studies containing unlawful supplies like little one sexual abuse supplies — can be shared on Lark, and subsequently accessible to ByteDance workers.”

Given the alleged “deceptive and inaccurate representations to the American public” at hand, the senators have known as on Shou Zi Chew to reply 14 multifaceted questions by subsequent Friday. The queries concern the storage of and ByteDance’s entry to People’ TikTok information in China, how lengthy the information’s been housed on servers within the nation, and whether or not CFIUS has been knowledgeable of the observe, amongst a number of different topics.

Long term, it’ll be value monitoring the doable legislative and regulatory byproducts of the newest spherical of TikTok scrutiny. In line with a long-running technique – which it’s additionally employed amid rocky licensing talks with the Large Three, quite a few bans on the authorities stage, and hundreds of thousands in fines thus far in 2023 – TikTok continues to be plowing forward with enlargement initiatives.

About three weeks after asserting the “Artist Impression Program,” TikTok as we speak unveiled a collaboration with Songtradr’s MassiveMusic “to develop a singular sonic identification that embodies the sound of our international neighborhood and inventive democracy at its core.” Moreover, the ByteDance subsidiary has teed up “30 Days of #GamingonTikTok” so as “to have a good time the worldwide gaming neighborhood.”

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