TikTok’s global chief security officer, Roland Cloutier has stepped down. This is coming ahead of TikTok’s transitioning its US-based servers to Oracle. In an internal memo as seen by the Wall Street Journal, the China-owned app stated that Cloutier will assume an advisory role, with TikTok’s head of security risk, vendor, and client assurance, Kim Albarella, taking over temporarily.
“With our recent announcement about data management changes in the US, it’s time for me to transition from my role as Global Chief Security Officer into a strategic advisory role focusing on the business impact of security and trust programs, working directly with Shou, Dingkun and other senior leaders,” Cloutier wrote in the memo.
TikTok continues to reassure authorities; the Republicans in particular that data of US citizens is safe. For the umpteenth time, TikTok a couple of weeks ago, again assured the US authorities that data of US citizens in its server is safe. The company issued the latest assurances a couple of days ago following a recent call made by a leader of the Federal Communications Commissions, Brenden Carr.
Carr had written a letter to Google and Apple via Twitter, asking the two tech companies to remove TikTok from their respective stores.
In a letter addressed to nine Republican critics, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew explained how the Chinese-owned app planned to separate American user data from ByteDance. Recall that TikTok had a couple of weeks ago, pledged to house US user data on Oracle servers.
“We’re proud to be able to serve a global community of more than a billion people who use TikTok to creatively express themselves and be entertained,” Chew wrote in the letter as first reported by The New York Times. “We know we are among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of U.S. user data.”
Meanwhile, Buzzfeed had earlier reported that ByteDance engineers in China had access to US data as late as January 2022, which raised a lot of concerns, especially among some Republican lawmakers.
Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) raised fears via a letter questioning Chew that officials of TikTok “did not provide truth or forthright answers” in a recent committee hearing following the Buzzfeed report.