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TikTok Admits Storing Some US User Data In China: Senators

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jun 25, 2023 - 11:30 PM

Authored by Aldgra Fredly via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken on Aug. 22, 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

TikTok has admitted to storing some U.S. user data on China-based servers, which differs from its CEO’s previous testimony to Congress that “American data stored on American soil.”

The Chinese video-sharing platform confirmed this in a letter dated June 16 made in response to questions raised by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.

The senators had accused TikTok of making misleading claims to Congress regarding its storage of U.S. user data, citing a Forbes report that TikTok stored financial information—such as social security numbers and tax IDs—of U.S. content creators on Chinese servers.

In response, TikTok said that its previous testimony specifically pertained to the protected user data collected within the app and was not related to content creators’ data, which it said falls into two different categories.

“The Forbes reporter conflated two categories of data, and we stand by the statements made by our company executives to Congress,” it stated. “We are asked about, and our testimony focused on, the protected user data collected in the app—not creator data.

The company clarified that there are “limited exceptions to the definition of protected data.”

These exceptions include “public data, business metrics, interoperability data, and certain creator data, if a creator voluntarily signs up for a commercial program to be supported by TikTok in reaching new audiences and monetizing content.”

“TikTok believes that the Forbes article cited in your letter was referencing certain creator data such as signed contracts and related documents for U.S. creators who enter into a commercial relationship with TikTok—information that is collected outside of the standard app experience,” it stated.

Regarding the potential sharing of U.S. user data stored in China with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime under China’s National Intelligence Law, TikTok said that it had not been asked by the CCP to provide such data.

TikTok said it has not been asked for U.S. user data by the Chinese regime, adding that TikTok has not provided such data to the regime, nor would TikTok do so the company said.

‘Misleading Public Relations Campaign’

However, the senators maintained their stance and said that TikTok’s response showed that its executives had repeatedly provided misleading information to Congress regarding the storage of U.S. user data.

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