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TikTok confirms that European user data is seen by its employees in China

TikTok logo. (photo: Ámbito)

TikTok is updating its data policy in Europe and contains some surprises. Some that come at a difficult time for the issue of privacy in the old continent. According to the new regulations of the social networkthe information of users on the continent as well it is visible to employees located outside of it.

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In other words: TikTok employees in China can get information from European employees. The goal, according to the company technology, is to maintain a “consistent, pleasant and secure” user experience. This change will take effect on December 2 in United Kingdom Y Swiss and also in the countries of the European Union.

The social network does not specify which countries have access to European data. In any case, they point out that access is where TikTok has data service centers for European users. The list includes Brazil, Canada, Israel, the United States, Singapore and, of course, China.

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Can all employees access user information? As TikTok told The Guardian, only certain employees in offices in Brazil, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and the United States have access to this information. All this based on the security and data control measures established by the European Union under the GDPR.

TikTok wants to grow the business in the old continent

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In this sense, these access rights are intended to improve the performance of the algorithms, recommendations or management related to the moderation of content on the platform. And it has not yet convinced the European control authorities, who have been working for some time to control the data controlled by the citizens of the Chinese community.

In particular Ireland, which has shown a special interest in data transmission. And while it is true that China has little interest in tracking down anonymous European citizens, it is an important strategy for growing the social network’s business on the continent.

This follows what the United States has been doing for some time. Although the alarm level of TikTok has decreased in the North American country since the departure of donald trump, TikTok’s security levels have always been in the spotlight. Precisely because of this data transfer to China.

Tiktok illustration with USA and China flags. (photo: REUTERS/Florence Lo)
Tiktok illustration with USA and China flags. (photo: REUTERS/Florence Lo)

TikTok ban seems to be the only way

The statement comes just at a time when some authorities and regulatory bodies have called for a ban on TikTok, due to fears that this stored data could be acquired by the Chinese government and used in some unwanted way.

For example, Brendan Carr, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States, stated that TikTok should be banned in the North American country: “I don’t think there is a way forward other than prohibition.”

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Brendan Carr. (photo: The Wrap)
Brendan Carr. (photo: The Wrap)

Carr added that he did not believe in “a world where you can get enough data protection to have enough confidence that it won’t end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Ireland’s data watchdog, which has jurisdiction over TikTok throughout the European Union, has also launched an investigation into “transfers of personal data from TikTok to China.”

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