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TikTok Says Australian Data Can Be Accessed in China

TikTok said its staff in China were able to access Australian users’ data but added that “our security teams minimise the number of people who have access to data”


ByteDance, the company that owns hit video platform TikTok, tries to play down its Chinese origins, according to leaked documents.
According to Gizmodo, TikTok staff are advised to emphasise distance between the app and its corporate owner. File photo: Reuters.

 

TikTok said that data on Australian users are accessible in China, despite previous assurances of “safe” storage in the US and Singapore.

Responding to a letter from a Canberra politician, TikTok admitted its staff in China were able to access Australian users’ data.

“Our security teams minimise the number of people who have access to data and limit it only to people who need that access in order to do their jobs,” the company’s Australian director of public policy, Brent Thomas, wrote to James Paterson, opposition spokesman on cybersecurity.

“We have policies and procedures that limit internal access to Australian user data by our employees, wherever they’re based, based on need,” Thomas added.

 

 

Paterson wrote on Twitter that Australian TikTok users deserved to know whether their private information is accessible in China.

Thomas said TikTok has never provided Australian user data to the Chinese government. “We have never been asked for Australian user data by the Chinese government, and we would not provide it if we were asked.”

However, activists have pointed out that it would be difficult for TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, to resist any demand from Beijing for overseas data.

 

  • George Russell

 

 

READ MORE:

US Senators Demand Probe Over TikTok User Data

US FCC Member Calls on Apple, Google to Dump TikTok App

ByteDance Uploaded Other Platforms’ Accounts – BuzzFeed

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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