This will cause turmoil: The Chinese company Bytedance, its owner platformTikTok has always claimed that data from US users is not transferred to China.
Former US President Donald Trump had forced Bytedance to maintain TikTok data on US servers.
The leaked TikTok 80 internal meeting audio files, however, show that US user data could be accessed from China. Thus, the concerns of the US security authorities were probably not unfounded.
The TikTok video platform is very successful among young people. However, there have always been serious privacy concerns among Western governments, especially the US government. The US government under former President Donald Trump tried to ban TikTok in the US unless it was sold to a US technology company. There was a statement from the US Department of Commerce, which, by order of the US President, prohibited US citizens from downloading the TikTok application. The whole issue was then stopped again by American judges.
Subsequently, we heard that TikTop was bought by Oracle and Walmart. Τότε η TikTok ανακοίνωσε ότι το 100% της κίνησης χρηστών στις ΗΠΑ θα δρομολογηθεί μέσω του Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Έτσι η TikTok άρχισε να αποθηκεύει δεδομένα των χρηστών των ΗΠΑ σε κέντρα δεδομένων της Oracle στις ΗΠΑ και τη Σιγκαπούρη. Η TikTok δήλωσε ότι το centre δεδομένων της στην Βιρτζίνια διαθέτει φυσικούς και λογικούς controlsecurity, such as safe access points, firewalls and intrusion detection technologies. The Singapore data center serves as backup data storage for our US users, the company said.
But Buzzfeed News gained access to audio files of 80 internal TikTok executive meetings. The recordings include 14 statements from nine different TikTok employees proving that engineers in China had access to U.S. data from at least September 2021 to January 2022.
"I feel like there is a backdoor in almost all of these tools that gives access to user data," said an external auditor of TikTok such as sensitive information, birthdays, phone numbers, etc.
According to leaked recordings of more than 80 TikTok internal meetings, employees of China-based ByteDance have repeatedly had access to non-public data of US TikTok users.
"Everything is visible in China," said a member of TikTok's security department, according to a Buzzfeed News article:
The records come from small group meetings with company executives and consultants as well as from presentations to the entire workforce. There are also snapshots screens along with other documents, providing ample evidence to support that China-based employees had access to US user data.
Ultimately, all of this suggests that the company may have misled lawmakers, its users and its public.
So it seems that the former US President or the services of information were right in their distrust of TikTok.
The question is, when will politicians in Europe wake up?