TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote to nine US senators explaining how the company would keep all information stored in Oracle data centers located in the United States. The data would be periodically reviewed by a security team based in the United States.
Chew acknowledged that the move was part of a larger initiative to enhance data security known as Project Texas. The social media company also minced no words in the letter, stating that TikTok is one of the "most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of U.S. user data."
Marsha Blackburn, John Thune, and other U.S. senators wrote to TikTok in response to their questions about the company's data security policies (and flaws). TikTok replies that their allegations and insinuations in the BuzzFeed article were untrue and unsupported by evidence.
Chew's letter concludes by talking about data limitations and reaffirms the company's intention to delete all user data from its current servers as the Oracle migration completes. However, he also stated that ByteDance employees in China would continue to work on TikTok, developing algorithms that would serve personalized recommendations to the platform's users, but only under approved government conditions.
Senator Blackburn said that Mr. Chew's letter demonstrates that concerns about the Chinese Communist Party's influence on the company were legitimate. "The Chinese-owned company should have come clean from the start, but it attempted to shroud its work in secrecy," she said, adding that TikTok would have to testify before Congress again.