Video sharing platform TikTok has provided Republican lawmakers with a more detailed plan on how it plans to keep its user data in the U.S. out of reach of its Chinese owner ByteDance.
As the New York Times reported Friday (July 1), CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote to nine Republican senators explaining that TikTok would operate its app from servers controlled by cloud computing giant Oracle, with a third party auditing the machines. In addition, user information would be stored with Oracle, not on TikTok’s servers.
“We know we are among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of U.S. user data,” Chew wrote.
His hugely-popular social network has been dealing with concerns from critics about possible national security risks.
Last month, Brendan Carr, the senior Republican and the previous General Counsel on the Federal Communications Commission, wrote to the CEOs of Apple and Google asking that they stop carrying the TikTok app.
The letter, which Carr shared on Twitter Tuesday (June 28), argued the app sparks fresh data security concerns and also violates parts of the app store policies of both iOS and Android.
The letter points to recent news reports of leaked recordings that said engineers in China had access to U.S. data between September 2021 and January 2022.
TikTok has also been part of the rising trend of social commerce, joining forces earlier this year with open-source eCommerce platform WooCommerce with a partnership designed to connect that company’s 3.7 million stores to TikTok’s 1 billion-plus users.
“There’s an opportunity for them to be influenced by the videos on TikTok or other social platforms, by their friends or folks in their network, not to mention advertising playing an important role in all those things as well,” he said.