TikTok admits: Staff in China Can Access Europeans Data

TikTok admits: Staff in China can access European user's data

TikTok has started prompting to its Europeans users that their employees outside the continent even including China can access the users data, fueling the political and the regulatory concerns.

This China-owned social app, TikTok, is updating its privacy policy to confirm that the employees in China can access the European user’s data for maintaining the user’s app experience making it “consistent, enjoyable and safe” for its users.

The European user’s data is stored mainly in US and Singapore but as per the newer privacy policy, the countries that can access their data now includes Brazil, Canada and Israel.

“Based on a demonstrated need to do their job, subject to a series of robust security controls and approval protocols, and by way of methods that are recognized under the GDPR, we allow certain employees within our corporate group located in Brazil, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States, remote access to TikTok European user data” clarifies Elaine Fox, TikTok’s Head of Privacy in Europe.

The Irish data watchdog has also taken notice of the issue, they launched an investigation based on the TikTok’s transfer of personal data to China.

The incoming privacy policy updates are expected to be effective from December 2, which also includes the update over platform collecting user’s geographical location as well making it not completely based on data transfers.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is examining the legality of the TikTok platform’s data transfer to China, the investigation being led by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC).

TikTok’s spokesman has denied the updates in this privacy policy being related to the inquiry by GDPR. However, in the blog post of the company where they announced these changes includes the justification of such changes as their platform being more “transparent” how they share user’s information and data. Transparency has been a key principle for GDPR and hence can be seen as the platform reflecting changes in similar manner. Their spokesman declined commenting on any of the platform’s future plans that could indicate the further changes we could expect.

The social video-sharing app can be seen collecting a lot of data, and that raises concerns about privacy and from the regulatory point of view as well. This could lead to the platform becoming the data honeypot aiding in state-level surveillance that we could be unaware of at the moment.

This leaves us with the conclusion that the social platforms that we’re this well connected with surely are doing efforts to dodge the regulatory restrictions, and even after they officially admit we still are left in the middle with clouded heads with even more questions. In the days we’re living, being this socially-connected through such platforms, privacy now seems to be a myth.

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