TikTok is now routing all of its U.S. user traffic to Oracle's cloud infrastructure services, in a bid to allay U.S. regulators’ concerns about data integrity on the popular short video app given its Chinese ownership.
The ByteDance-owned TikTok, which has more than a billion users, previously had stored its U.S. user data in its Virginia data center and used its Singapore data center as a backup storage location. TikTok has been working with Oracle for more than a year to better protect its app, systems and the security of its U.S. user data, according to Albert Calamug, a member of TikTok’s U.S. security public policy team.
“We've now reached a significant milestone in that work: We've changed the default storage location of U.S. user data,” Calamug said in a blog post Friday. “Today, 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.”
TikTok is also working with Oracle to develop data management protocols that Oracle will audit and manage to “give users even more peace of mind,” Calamug said.
TikTok recently set up a new department with U.S.-based leadership to solely manage its U.S. user data.
“Together, these changes will enforce additional employee protections, provide more safeguards, and further minimize data transfer outside of the US,” Calamug said. “These are critical steps, but there is more we can do. We know we are among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data.”
Reuters reported in March that TikTok was close to a deal to store its U.S. user data with Oracle — without its Chinese parent company getting access to it — after a U.S. security panel said ByteDance must divest TikTok amid fears that U.S. data could wind up in the hands of the communist Chinese government. In 2020, President Donald Trump nearly forced a deal between Oracle and TikTok that later fell apart.BuzzFeed reported Friday that China-based ByteDance employees have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about U.S. TikTok users, according to leaked audio recordings of 80-plus TikTok meetings.