The short-form video service TikTok said Friday that it has shifted its US user data to Oracle. The move responds to US officials’ worries that the social media company’s links to China might endanger national security.
Following more than a year of conversations with Oracle, TikTok said in a blog post that it has “changed the default storage location of US user data” to Oracle and that “100 percent of US user traffic” is now stored by the cloud provider.
TikTok’s backups of US user data are still being maintained on TikTok’s proprietary servers in Virginia and Singapore for the time being but will be deleted as part of the continuing transition to Oracle (ORCL). TikTok has not yet specified a timeline for the planned deletion of the data.
TikTok and Oracle have been working on a strategy to handle the social media company’s US user data for months, according to TikTok. This also includes building protocols for Oracle to evaluate TikTok’s handling of the data.
“These changes will enforce additional employee protections, provide more safeguards, and further minimize data transfer outside of the US,” TikTok said.
US authorities claimed that US users risked having their data exposed to the Chinese government
Beginning with the Trump administration, US authorities expressed fears over TikTok’s ownership by a Chinese corporation, ByteDance. They claimed that US users risked having their data exposed to the Chinese government. TikTok said at the time that US user data was safe from prying eyes since it was stored in Singapore and the US.
The Trump government even attempted to ban TikTok from US app stores, but that effort was unsuccessful and eventually blocked in courts. Separately, Trump also attempted to compel ByteDance to spin-off TikTok into a new business mostly owned by US investors.
Last year, the Biden administration indicated that they shared many of the same concerns when they revoked Trump’s executive order targeting TikTok. They replaced it with a broader directive that addressed apps tied to foreign adversaries more generally, including China.