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TikTok has stated that China-based ByteDance workers still have access to some U.S. data

March 27, 2023: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has stated that U.S. lawmakers that China-based workers at its parent firm ByteDance may still have allowance to a few U.S. data from the app but added that wouldn’t be the case once its threat mitigation plan, known as Project Texas, is complete.

The exchange is huge because it gets at the crux of U.S. officials’ fears regarding TikTok’s ownership. It also shows how tricky and time-consuming untangling the app from its Chinese parent firm can be.

Lawmakers and intelligence people fear that U.S. user data could get into the hands of the Chinese administration via ByteDance. That’s due to the Chinese law allowing the government to obtain inside information from firms based there for purported national security purposes.

During Chew’s much-expected testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, asked Chew if any ByteDance workers in China could access U.S. data.

“After Project Texas is done, the answer is no,” Chew stated. “Today, there are still a few data that we need to delete,” He further stated.

Later in the hearing, in an exchange with Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., Chew rejected it shares U.S. data with the Chinese Communist Party, which says that TikTok is a “private business” that, such as many others, depending on a “global workforce.”

The spokesperson added, “Since October 2022, all new U.S. user data has been stored exclusively in Oracle.

Cloud Environment, with protected data entirely out of reach of any foreign government. That data is managed exclusively by U.S. Data Security, a TikTok subsidiary made up of Americans, led and located in America, whose sole focus is to protect U.S. national security interests by securing U.S. user data and to prevent outside manipulation of our systems.”

On Thursday, TikTok said that Project Texas is in action, but there are a lot of steps to complete. That includes deleting data from the servers from TikTok in Singapore and Virginia, a way it started the previous week. The data on those servers could be accessed by China-based ByteDance employees for now.

Once that data is not anymore, according to TikTok, those employees will no longer have allowance to U.S. user data from the app.

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TikTok has stated that China-based ByteDance workers still have access to some U.S. data