TikTok says US users’ data is stored locally

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TikTok says it has recorded significant progress in its drive to warehouse US user’s data locally. In an update on Friday, the ByteDance-owned company said it has “changed the default storage location of US user data.”

In post, TikTok said much of its user data had already been stored in at a Virginia-based data center in the US. The company has migrated US user traffic to a new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in what represents a new partnership with the cloud giant.

Today, 100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We still use our US and Singapore data centers for backup, but as we continue our work we expect to delete US users’ private data from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US.” In addition to that, the Chinese-owned app says it has made “operational changes,” including a new department “with US-based leadership, to solely manage US user data for TikTok.”

There has been concerns from US officials over how user data is used by TikTok and its parent company ByteDance. To calm frayed nerves, TikTok has been working round the clock to separate US user data so that ByteDance will no have access to it.

Two years ago, federal lawmakers in the US voted to ban the use of TikTok from devices owned by federal employees. The ban came as part of a $741 billion defense policy bill. The lawmakers were worried that personal information of US users could find their ways to the hands of government officials in Beijing.

The House voted 336-71 to pass the proposal, offered by Rep. Ken Buck as part of a package of bipartisan amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act. The prohibition according to the report, is expected to extend to members of Congress and congressional staff.

Lawmakers had in 2019 called for an investigation into whether ByteDance-owned TikTok can be used by the Chinese government to collect users’ data or control the content that is being shared. Some senators specifically emphasized on the potential for the app to be used in election meddling and to silence protesters in Hong Kong.

Earlier in 2020, TikTok suffered a major blow as Transportation Security Administration told its employees to stop using the app. This came weeks after the army banned the use of TikTok on government owned phones. TSA told users to stop using the Chinese-owned app to create social media posts for the agency.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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