TikTok’s CEO: Some China-based employees can access US user data

TikTok’s CEO confirms China-based employees can access US user data with internal security checks, reassures data is protected and not shared with the Chinese government. Concerns have been raised about TikTok’s promises prompting the Senate Intelligence Committee to request an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

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TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew confirmed it: China-based employees who pass specific internal security checks can access certain information related to TikTok’s US users, including public videos and comments. All of that data is protected by ‘robust cybersecurity controls’ and is not disclosed to the Chinese government, he said.

TikTok has reiterated that Project Texas, which includes physically storing US user information in data centres on US servers owned by software giant Oracle Corp, is the answer. However, the US Senate Intelligence Committee is concerned about the reliability of TikTok’s promises and has asked the US Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation into whether TikTok misled US lawmakers about China-based employees of its parent company, ByteDance, accessing American user data.