ByteDance, a Beijing-based company, owned the popular short-form video app earlier this year but has since faced pressure from ex-President Donald Trump over national security issues and the FCC Commissioner Asks Apple and Google to Remove App from Stores.
China-based ByteDance, whose products have been scrutinized by President Donald Trump, owns the wildly popular app.
He cited a Buzzfeed News report outlining repeated access to non-public US user data by ByteDance employees in China.
Data or communications of US citizens without their consent have long been feared to be intercepted by the Chinese government. Carr’s plea, however, may not succeed.
More about; FCC Commissioner Asks Apple and Google to Remove App from Stores 2023
- Why is TikTok getting removed?
- TikTok’s Defense: All US Data Will Be Stored in the US
- Carr Has a Point
- Will TikTok Survive This Renewed Pressure?
Why is TikTok getting removed?
ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, has long been feared by policymakers for exposing its data to Chinese authorities. ByteDance was initially forced to sell the app or face expulsion from app stores by former President Donald J. Trump in 2020. An American cloud computing company called Oracle, which at one point was set to take over some of the company, was announced by the Trump administration. It was not possible to complete the sale.
A new department has recently been established with U.S.-based leadership to manage only U.S. user data for TikTok as part of this work – which also includes making operational changes in line with this work.
According to the company, all US user traffic data will be routed to Oracle Cloud infrastructure following the move of private user data from its US and Singapore data centers to Oracle cloud servers in the US. An announcement was made on June 17, and BuzzFeed reported the news. TikTok is the subject of a national security review commissioned by the Biden administration, which was requested by six Republican senators on June 24.
As Buzzfeed News said in a statement, “we stand firmly behind our report that TikTok employees were accessing US user data more frequently than previously known, and we’re glad that TikTok confirmed this itself in its statement.”
TikTok’s Defense: All US Data Will Be Stored in the US
“All traffic from US users is now flowing through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We still use our US and Singapore servers for backup, but we expect to completely pivot to Oracle cloud servers based in the US as we continue working,” TikTok writes”.
Carr Has a Point:
Despite being able to access all of TikTok’s data, including that of US users, Beijing-based employees have never shared the data with the Chinese government and would not if pressed. FCC Commissioner Asks Apple and Google to Remove App from Stores but Apple and Google must also provide separate responses to Carr by July 24, detailing the reasons for not removing the app from their respective app stores.
Will TikTok Survive This Renewed Pressure?
A good decision was made by TikTok in partnership with Oracle to transfer all US user data to the US. The US regulators would be satisfied with this in normal circumstances.
It is worth noting that TikTok’s admission that China-based employees can still access this data undercuts its position. There will need to be a resolution to this issue by Congress and the US courts.
It has been suspected many times that TikTok’s user data practices are unreliable. Historically, both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden have expressed concern about TikTok’s interaction with China, and the way it affects U.S. users’ data. The app can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices and now FCC Commissioner Asks Apple and Google to Remove App from Stores, it was also banned in India in 2020 over national security concerns.
Biden proposed new rules that will provide greater oversight on apps that may pose a national security risk, while Trump proposed an outright ban on TikTok or a sale of its U.S. business.
A TikTok spokesperson also said the company “was glad to engage lawmakers regarding BuzzFeed’s misleading reporting” and that U.S. user data can be accessed by TikTok engineers outside the U.S. on an as-needed basis under its strict controls.”