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TikTok’s Chinese parent company had access to US user data for months, even though US employees did not have access to it themselves, according to leaked audio.
The audio, obtained by BuzzFeed News, covers more than 80 internal meetings at TikTok between the months of September 2021 and January 2022. It showed that US employees were not authorized to access user data and instead relied on the Chinese employees to do so, according to BuzzFeed.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is required under Chinese law to share its data with the Chinese Communist Party whenever asked to do so.
“As we have stated publicly, we have engaged world-class internal and external security experts to help us bolster our data security efforts. industry given the complexity of data security challenges,” TikTok said in a statement to Business. Insider Friday.
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“In May, we created a new internal department, US Data Security (USDS), with US-based leadership, to provide a greater level of focus and governance over US data security. creation of this organization is part of our effort and commitment to strengthen our data protection policies and protocols, further protect our users, and build confidence in our systems and controls,” the statement continued.
The video-sharing app has come under intense scrutiny from politicians and Republicans in the US, especially for its Chinese roots.
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Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the app in the United States in 2020, but President Joe Biden blocked the ban from taking effect soon after he took office.