During the government of Donald Trump, the popular short video social network TikTok was in the eye of the hurricane when it came to the privacy of its users’ data. A complex situation that pushed the company to move the application data in the US to the Oracle cloud.
The objective was none other than to calm the then American president around his Suspicions about TikTok’s relationship with the Chinese government. For Trump, national security could be at risk because of this social network.
A move that finally comes two years after the government ordered parent company ByteDance to get rid of TikTok for fear that such data would fall into the hands of its number one enemy: China’s communist government.
It should be noted that TikTok, with over a billion active users worldwide, doesn’t just have a fervent following among younger people. US military, administration or intelligence personnel can also have, in a personal capacity, an account on the famous social network something that greatly worried Trump.
But everything changed when he lost the White House and Joe Biden arrived who did not enforce the order on ByteDance. Nor did any official government source decide to give any information or comment on the matter.
However, last March, according to Reuters reports, TikTok was already in very advanced talks with Oracle to safely store the information of its users there, yes, of TikTok users residing in the US.
Data moves from Virginia to Oracle
Oracle and TikTok are already old friends: in 2020, Oracle even thought about acquiring a small stake in the famous social network taking advantage of the pressure exerted at the time by Trump on ByteDance. For more than a year they have worked side by side on various measures as part of their business relationship to protect the US application, systems and data security.
Now the company specializing in the development of cloud solutions and based in Austin, Texas, will be in charge of storing all the data of American TikTok users on Oracle servers in the United States. This alliance also comes at a somewhat complex time.
Nowadays, BuzzFeed News is conducting an investigation based on tracking data movements between the US and China due to the internal filtering of different audios, which has done nothing but advance and even speed up said alliance as a call for calm and the defense of the integrity of user data.
Oracle thus replaces the previous location and custody of Tik Tok data in the US, located in the state of Virginia and with backup copies in Singapore that will be completely eliminated.
“These changes will impose additional protections for employees, provide more guarantees and further minimize the transfer of data outside the US,” said Albert Calamug, head of security and public policy for TikTok in the country.
The creation of the USDS team
However, TikTok’s concern for giving an image of the perfect guardian and custodian of its users’ data does not end here. He has also created the group USDS, a team dedicated to data security in the North American country. Led by Andrew Bonillo, a former executive in TikTok’s global security department and overseen by TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.
The internal structure of USDS under which the team would operate autonomously and would not be under the control or supervision of TikTok is currently being outlined. Is about a team that includes content moderation staff, engineers, and members of product and user operations.
All this also occurs at a time in the country where the department of commerce is drawing the new rules on data security in applications, which could lead to restrictions on how applications located abroad use the data of US users. Or even ban apps considered to be serious security risk.