Tiktok has consistently emphasized that the data of users in the US is stored here. But according to leaked audio from an internal TikTok meeting, ByteDance employees in China have accessed US user data.
report from BuzzfeedNews Turns out that more than 80 recordings contain at least 14 statements indicating that Chinese engineers had access to US data between September 2021 and January 2022. This is despite a TikTok executive swearing in an October 2021 Senate hearing that only a US-based security team can decide who has access to the data.
According to the tapes, US employees had to turn to their allies in China to determine how US user data was flowing. According to the leaked tapes, employees in the United States could not access the data on their own.
“Everything is seen in China,” says a member of TikTok’s trust and security department in a September 2021 recording.
Another recording from around the same time refers to a Beijing engineer as the ‘master admin’ who has access to everything. BuzzfeedNews It has been able to corroborate the leaked audio with screenshots and documents that prove that China-based employees have been able to access US TikTok data.
“Their content shows that the data was accessed far more frequently and recently than previously reported, showing the world’s most popular social media app separating its US operations from its parent company in Beijing.” paints a rich picture of the challenges in the endeavour.” BuzzfeedNews reads the report.
The tapes show that TikTok continues to mislead lawmakers, users and the public about who has access to its data. The Committee on Foreign Investment began an investigation into TikTok and its national security implications in 2019. In 2020, then-President Trump threatened to ban the app over espionage concerns after reports of the app being banned by the US Navy, military and other military branches.
TikTok employees in the United States are working to prevent the stem of protected data from the US to China in an effort known internally as Project Texas. vast majority of recordings BuzzfeedNews Reporting on The Inside Project of TikTok comes from the Texas initiative. Under the CFIUS agreement to continue operating, TikTok must keep US sensitive data in a data center managed by Oracle in Texas.
During a September 2021 recording, one consultant tells another, “I think with these tools, almost everyone has some backdoor access to user data, which is tedious.”