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How Frustration Over TikTok Has Mounted in Washington


In an interview, Mr. Beckerman called TikTok’s data collection “all very minor” compared with other social apps. To scale back security concerns, the app has said that it plans to store all its American data solely on Oracle servers in america, deleting its backups in Singapore and Virginia, and managing access from america. The method, Mr. Beckerman said, would probably be finished this yr. He didn’t offer a particular date.

The White House could also be preparing to act soon on broader policy around apps that might expose data to foreign adversaries. Earlier this yr, it circulated a draft of an executive order that may give the federal government more power to intercede in cases where data is susceptible to being exposed to an adversary. The Biden administration can be expected to issue guidance soon for a committee that vets transactions involving foreign firms, telling it to be especially sensitive to cases that might expose Americans’ data to other governments. It is usually considering ways to review whole classes of doubtless dangerous deals, reasonably than approaching them on a person basis.

“The Biden administration is targeted on the challenge of certain countries, including China, looking for to leverage digital technologies and Americans’ data in ways in which present unacceptable national security risks while advancing authoritarian control and interests,” said Saloni Sharma, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. “The administration can be reviewing additional potential actions to deal with this challenge.”

TikTok has faced security questions for years, especially in 2020 when Mr. Trump issued an executive order to dam it from the Apple and Google app stores unless ByteDance sold the app to an American firm. He later announced a deal to sell a part of the app to Oracle, the American cloud computing giant, nevertheless it never got here to pass. Federal courts eventually ruled that Mr. Trump’s order blocking TikTok was illegal, together with one other blocking the Chinese-owned app WeChat, and last summer, Mr. Biden rolled each back.

But the federal government has continued trying to scale back risks related to TikTok. The app and the committee on foreign investment in america, which vets international involvement in deals, have been quietly negotiating a resolution to the federal government’s concerns, in line with people tracking the discussions.

While a bigger team is working on tips on how to cordon off U.S. user data, only around 10 TikTok employees have seen the draft agreement between the corporate and the federal government, TikTok said, reflecting the closely held nature of the negotiations.

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