TikTok Routes US Traffic to Oracle Servers – User Data at Risk of Exposure to China

On June 17, TikTok revealed its plans to move US user-generated data through Oracle’s servers. The migration is an effort to convince the American government that TikTok, a Chinese-owned social media app, doesn’t share data with the Chinese government.  Despite the change, the media giant also plans to maintain backups on its own servers, which puts everything into question. Will the Chinese authorities have access to the data? It’s hard to say, but according to a report from BuzzFeed News, TikTok may have already shared data with Chinese third parties.   

TikTok Under Scrutiny

This isn’t the first time TikTok is suspected of mismanaging user data. In 2020 and 2021, TikTok came under fire over data breaches that exposed millions of users. In addition, the UK has sued TikTok for illegally collecting data from children, while India banned the app completely over security concerns.  In the US, the Trump administration tried to break TikTok away from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. The plan was for Oracle or Microsoft to buy at least part of the company to block the Chinese from accessing the data. That initiative never came to fruition, but a modified version of it seems to be underway. TikTok remains under constant fire for ignoring privacy laws and for questionable data gathering practices. The FCC commissioner urged Google and Apple to ban TikTok from their platforms due to the reports that show Beijing might have access to the app’s user data. TikTok’s shift to Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure might be too little and too late.

TikTok Makes a Deal with Oracle

TikTok announced that it has been cooperating with Oracle for over a year to reroute US traffic to Oracle’s cloud infrastructure. The move will supposedly lock China out from gaining information on American users. However, there’s a caveat. TikTok also said:
We still use our U.S. and Singapore data centers for backup, but as we continue our work we expect to delete U.S. users’ private data from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the U.S.
TikTok still hasn’t confirmed when it will make the full switch to Oracle’s servers. It’s also unclear how secure and private the user data backups are until the two companies process the migration. TikTok only added:
These are critical steps, but there is more we can do. We know we are among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data.
Despite these assurances and the deal with Oracle, you shouldn’t give up your data freely to any company. Protect your digital privacy and prevent companies from trading your data.     

Your Personal Data Is Valuable

Everyone from social media companies to North Korean hackers is after your personal data. That’s right, what you had for breakfast matters to someone somewhere. So why are so many agencies interested in you? Data is digital gold. It holds the key to money and power and companies will do anything they can to get their hands on it. To protect your data from China and other parties, delete your TikTok account as well as other social media accounts. This is just the start. You’re still vulnerable to many other data collection tools like cookies. So use a powerful VPN as well. Get CyberGhost VPN and route your traffic through our heavily encrypted servers. Try CyberGhost risk-free and prevent the Chinese authorities from accessing your devices.

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