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TikTok says many countries, including China, can access European user data

The TikTok logo on a white pink and blue background

TikTok is alerting European users that several countries around the world, including China, can remotely access their data. The Chinese owned app confirmed this after it added an update to its privacy policy.

TikTok's head of privacy in Europe, Elaine Fox, said in a statement:

“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.”

The social media company has had a history of controversy as regulators around the world worry TikTok's parent firm ByteDance might share sensitive information with the Chinese government. The company has assured lawmakers again and again about data privacy, but regulatory bodies have not stopped scrutinizing.

The update to TikTok's privacy policy applies to the UK, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, and goes live on December 2.

Last week, a top official at the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) said that TikTok should be banned in the US. He believes there isn't "a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it's not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party]."

TikTok is the world's fastest growing social media app, and has been downloaded over 4 billion times. Since its launch in 2017 it has made over $6.2bn revenue with in-app spending, according to analytics company Sensor Tower.

Source: BBC

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