Wednesday, June 7, 2023
26 C
Brunei Town
- Advertisement -

TikTok attorney: China can’t get US data under plan

SAULSALITO, CALIFORNIA (AP) – Under intense scrutiny from Washington that could lead to a potential ban, the top attorney for TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance defended the social media platform’s plan to safeguard United States (US) user data from China.

“The basic approach that we’re following is to make it physically impossible for any government, including the Chinese government, to get access to US user data,” said general counsel Erich Andersen during a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press at a cyber security conference in Sausalito, California, on Friday sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation and Aspen Digital and featuring top government officials, tech executives and journalists.

ByteDance will continue to develop its new app called Lemon8, Andersen said.

“We’re obviously going to do our best with the Lemon8 app to comply with US law and to make sure we do the right thing here,” Andersen said, referring to the new social app developed by ByteDance that resembles Instagram and Pinterest.

“But I think we got a long way to go with that application – it’s pretty much a startup phase.”

ByteDance’s most known app, TikTok, is under intense scrutiny over concerns it could hand over user data to the Chinese government or push pro-Beijing propaganda and misinformation on its behalf.

The icon for the video sharing TikTok app is seen on a smartphone. PHOTO: AP

Lemon8 was introduced across app stores in Japan in April 2020 and has been rolled out in more countries since then. It’s available for download in the US and could face similar scrutiny to TikTok.

Leaders at the FBI, CIA and officials at other government agencies have warned that ByteDance could be forced to give user data – such as browsing history, IP addresses and biometric identifiers – to Beijing under a 2017 law that compels companies to cooperate with the government for matters involving China’s national security. Another Chinese law, implemented in 2014, has similar mandates.

To assuage concerns from US officials, TikTok has been emphasising a US1.5-billion proposal, called Project Texas, to store all US user data on servers owned and maintained by the software giant Oracle.

Under the plan, access to US data would be managed by US employees through a separate entity called TikTok US Data Security, which is run independently of ByteDance and monitored by outside observers.

Some lawmakers have said that’s not enough. But despite scepticism about the project, TikTok said it is moving forward anyway.

“We’re investing in a system where people don’t have to believe the Chinese government and they don’t have to believe us,” Andersen said.

TikTok chief executive officer Shou Zi Chew has said the company started deleting all historic US user data from non-Oracle servers this month and expects that process to be completed this year.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest article

- Advertisement -