TikTok proposes additional security measures to mollify US regulators

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FILE – A visitor passes the TikTok exhibition stands at the Gamescom computer gaming fair in Cologne, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. A Russian court has fined TikTok for failing to delete LGBT material in what is the country’s latest crackdown on Big Tech companies. The court in Moscow on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022 issued the $50,000 penalty to the short-video sharing platform, following a complaint by Russian regulators. TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd., didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File) Martin Meissner/AP

TikTok proposes additional security measures to mollify US regulators

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TikTok has proposed operating more of its business at arm’s length from its Chinese parent company ByteDance in an attempt to convince United States regulators not to force it to sell the app to another company.

The video-sharing app has been in discussions with the Biden administration to protect national security interests. Now it is proposing new levels of oversight to ensure that the app is not being used for surveillance. This includes having its app codes and algorithms reviewed by “transparency centers” operated by the U.S.-based server company Oracle, according to Reuters.

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The company also intends to form a “proxy board” to manage the U.S. division of TikTok. The board would be governed by three members who are screened by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to ensure they are trustworthy.

TikTok would also hire independent auditors who would be paid by TikTok and report to CFIUS.

TikTok announced in June that it was moving all U.S. data to Oracle servers after a Buzzfeed News report alleging that Chinese employees had the ability to access U.S. data. Oracle also said it would review TikTok’s algorithm to ensure Chinese authorities were not manipulating it.

“We have made substantial progress on implementing that solution over the past year and look forward to completing that work to put these concerns to rest,” a TikTok spokesperson said. The spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of any agreements but claimed that TikTok and CFIUS had not spoken since last summer.

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Representatives for CFIUS, the White House, and the Treasury Department did not respond to requests for comment.

TikTok has been under increased scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators over the company’s relationship with ByteDance, which appears to have a relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. Congress is set to pass a ban on installing TikTok on government devices when it votes the omnibus spending bill through. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) advocate a complete ban on TikTok in the U.S.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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