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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Oracle to act as US data auditor for TikTok

It seems a solution has been found to the longstanding feud between TikTok and the US government over user privacy. The feud goes as far back as 2020 when Trump was president and directed the company to either consider divestment options or risk being banned completely from the country. Early in June this year, the FCC commissioner also came out publicly to urge Google and Apple to remove the app from their respective app stores again over privacy issues.

The initial plan as commissioned by Trump was to have Oracle buy TikTok’s US operations with Microsoft reportedly also interested in the deal. However, it seems a compromise has been reached and in this new deal, Oracle will be charged with storing all the data of US TikTok users as well as performing data management and auditing services for TikTok.

“We're working closely with Oracle to develop data management protocols that Oracle will audit and manage to give users even more peace of mind,” the company announced. Once the transition is complete, the goal is to have TikTok delete all US user data from its current servers.

The social media platform has over 80 million US users and expectedly, this is going to be a massive task for Oracle. It’s not the first time that the cloud company will be performing data audits, but data management at this scale is unprecedented.

TikTok has regularly been forced to affirm its commitment to user privacy with its most recent undertaking being in July when it announced the development of a new API for researchers. The company will be hoping that this new deal serves as enough proof of its commitment to protecting the security of US user data.

“For more than a year, we've been working with Oracle on several measures as part of our commercial relationship to better safeguard our app, systems, and the security of US user data,” the company wrote.

The US is not the only government to have privacy concerns over the handling of TikTok user data.

The UK parliament had to close down its TikTok account and delete all content in July after a section of MPs raised concerns that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok could be sharing sensitive information with the Chinese government.


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