TikTok moves US users’ data to Oracle servers to address security concerns. The decision addresses US officials’ concerns that the social media company’s ties to China could pose national security risks.
In a blog post, TikTok said it has “changed the default storage location of US user data” to Oracle and that “100% of US user traffic” is now hosted by the cloud provider, following more than a year of discussions with the company.
TikTok’s backups of US user data are still being held on TikTok’s proprietary servers in Virginia and Singapore for the time being, but will be deleted as part of the ongoing transition to Oracle (ORCL). TikTok did not specify a date for the planned deletion.
TikTok and Oracle have worked for months on a plan to manage the social media company’s US user data, including developing procedures for Oracle to audit TikTok’s handling of the data, TikTok said.
“These changes will enforce additional employee protections, provide more safeguards, and further minimize data transfer outside of the US,” TikTok said.
Beginning with the Trump administration, US officials expressed concern about TikTok’s ownership by ByteDance, a Chinese company, claiming that US users risked having their data exposed to the Chinese government. TikTok claimed at the time that US user data was safe from prying eyes because it was stored in Singapore and the US. The Trump administration went so far as to try to ban TikTok from US app stores, but that effort was unsuccessful in court.
Separately, Trump attempted to compel ByteDance to spin off TikTok into a new company controlled primarily by US investors.
When the Biden administration revoked Trump’s executive actions targeting TikTok and replaced them with a broader order that addressed apps linked to foreign adversaries more broadly, including China, it suggested it shared many of the same concerns.