- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
TikTok has always said that the data of its US users is stored in data centers in Virginia, and backed up in Singapore. In June, the company announced that all US user data would be routed through servers from the American computing giant Oracle.
And in July, Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to open an investigation into TikTok.
Carr, who has advocated for Google and Apple to boot TikTok from their stores, said the revelations made the national security concerns with TikTok more real than ever before, and brought people across the aisle together.
Little is known about the amount of user data TikTok collects and shares with entities in the US. Even Oracle, the company TikTok tapped to audit its algorithms and data privacy policies to assure lawmakers the platform is free from Chinese influence, has faced its own accusations that it kept dossiers on 5 million people around the world. There are currently no federal regulations that protect such information.
In the meantime, states are taking matters into their own hands. California passed a landmark child only safety bill that would require platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to vet any products that are geared toward children before rolling them out and implement privacy protections for younger users by default.
Carr, the FCC commissioner, partly attributes what he perceives as a seeming lack of focus on TikTok to a politicization of the debate after Donald Trump in 2020 signed an executive order that would force ByteDance to sell or spin off its US TikTok business. (Joe Biden has since revoked that order.)
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