Ban TikTok Now – by Klon Kitchen

(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

No one likes an “I told you so.” But you know what? I told you so! What am I talking about? TikTok.

A few weeks ago, BuzzFeed published a report about how leaked audio from inside the social media company shows that engineers and other employees of TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, have been accessing US user data. The audio comes from small-group meetings, meetings with outside consultants, and even internal policy all-hands events. In one meeting, for example, a member of the company’s Trust and Safety department says explicitly that, “Everything is seen in China.” In another meeting, a company executive referred to a “Master Admin” in Beijing who “has access to everything.”

Of course, TikTok says this is all a big misunderstanding and they’re promising to do better.

We know we’re among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data… 100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We still use our US and Singapore data centers for backup, but as we continue our work we expect to delete US users’ private data from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US.

Well, la-di-da, I’m so relieved to hear about what they “expect” to do one day. I’ve talked in the past about how data security assurances from Chinese tech companies should be understood but let me briefly reiterate the key points.

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