More than 80 audio recordings of internal meetings of ByteDance (which owns TikTok) leaked to the network showed that Chinese employees of the company repeatedly gained access to the personal data of American users. According to the report, the company misled American ministers and users of the platform by claiming that Americans’ data is stored in the United States and is not available to employees in China.
TikTok’s head of public policy in the Americas, Michael Beckerman, became the first company executive to appear before the US Congress. According to Reuters, he was pressured by Republicans who were worried about how TikTok manages the data of users of the application. Beckerman was asked if TikTok would be able to withhold data from the Chinese government if the materials were requested. He stated that TikTok does not share information with the Chinese authorities and is not connected in any way with Beijing ByteDance Technology.
On the same day that BuzzFeed published a story about the audio leak, TikTok issued a statement claiming that 100% of the traffic of American users is directed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
However, this does not guarantee that employees from China will not be able to access the data stored on the servers of an American company.
Recall that TikTok actively collects data from its users. Pixel tags tracked user activity on different sites using a hidden version of their email address.