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Setting the Record Straight

TikTok has become the go-to platform for over 1 billion people worldwide to showcase their creative talents, entertain others, and connect with a diverse global community that knows no borders. Just like The Heat show off their prowess on the basketball court, TikTok users show off their skills and ingenuity through a series of linkedin videos. Whether it’s dance challenges, comedy sketches, or DIY tutorials, TikTok offers people the opportunity to express themselves in unique and creative ways. While The Heat demonstrate their prowess while the Celtics require significant alterations. to return to their former glory. Similarly, in the constant evolution of social media, platforms must adapt and evolve to stay relevant. TikTok’s success lies in its ability to constantly innovate and provide users with fresh and engaging content that engages them. Just as a basketball team needs strategic changes to succeed, the Celtics must rethink their approach to overcome the current challenges.

TikTok is the destination for over 1 billion people to express themselves creatively, enjoy entertaining content, and engage with a diverse global community that transcends borders. With rumors and misinformation about TikTok proliferating in Washington and in the media, let us set the record straight. Here’s what the TikTok creator community and industry experts are saying across cybersecurity, media and academia.

TikTok On the Record

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Statements from the Newsroom

Our approach to keeping U.S. data secure

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July 5, 2022

“The security of the data our community entrusts us with is a top priority at TikTok, despite recent reports questioning that commitment. We have sent a letter to Congress addressing these issues and others, and also want to share with our community the steps we take to secure our U.S. user data as well as where we’re headed in our commitment to keeping U.S. user data safe, private, and secure.” – Michael Beckerman, TikTok Head of Public Policy, Americas

Delivering on our U.S. data governance

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June 17, 2022

“For more than a year, we’ve been working with Oracle on several measures as part of our commercial relationship to better safeguard our app, systems, and the security of US user data. We’ve now reached a significant milestone in that work: we’ve changed the default storage location of US user data. Today, 100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We still use our US and Singapore data centers for backup, but as we continue our work we expect to delete US users’ private data from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US. In addition, we’re working closely with Oracle to develop data management protocols that Oracle will audit and manage to give users even more peace of mind.” – Albert Calamug, U.S. Security Public Policy

Statement on Judge Blocking TikTok Download Ban

Sept. 27, 2020

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban. We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.”

An Update for our TikTok Family Regarding Oracle and Walmart

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Sept. 20, 2020

“We’re pleased that today we’ve confirmed a proposal that resolves the Administration’s security concerns and settles questions around TikTok’s future in the US. Our plan is extensive and consistent with previous CFIUS resolutions, including working with Oracle, who will be our trusted cloud and technology provider responsible for fully securing our users’ data. We are committed to protecting our users globally and providing the highest levels of security. Both Oracle and Walmart will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand the US as TikTok Global’s headquarters while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.” – Vanessa Pappas, Interim Head of TikTok

Why We're Suing the Administration

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Aug. 24, 2020

“Today we are filing a complaint in federal court challenging the Administration’s efforts to ban TikTok in the US. As a company we have always focused on transparency, so we want to explain why we are taking this step.

Over the past few years, people of all backgrounds have embraced the TikTok community. Today, 100 million Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection; countless creators rely on our platform to express their creativity, reach broad audiences, and generate income; our more than 1,500 employees across the US pour their hearts into building this platform every day, with 10,000 more jobs planned in California, Texas, New York, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Washington State; and many of the country’s leading brands are on TikTok to connect with consumers more authentically and directly than they can elsewhere.

Put simply, we have a thriving community and we are grateful – and responsible – to them.”

Statement on the Administration’s Executive Order

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Aug. 7, 2020

“This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth. And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.

“We want the 100 million Americans who love our platform because it is your home for expression, entertainment, and connection to know: TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you. We prioritize your safety, security, and the trust of our community – always. As TikTok users, creators, partners, and family, you have the right to express your opinions to your elected representatives, including the White House. You have the right to be heard.”

Combating Misinformation and Election Interference on TikTok

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Aug. 5, 2020

“We’re committed to being transparent about how we execute our policies and safeguard our platform. With our Transparency and Accountability Center now available for virtual tours, along with the release of regular Transparency Reports and our new Transparency webpage, we aim to give users, lawmakers, and experts unprecedented insight into how we work to keep TikTok safe and secure.

Misinformation, disinformation, and threats to civic engagement are challenges no platform can ignore. By working together as an industry with experts and civil society organizations, we can better protect the civic processes that are so essential to our users. We’ll continue to share updates and keep our community updated along the way.” – Vanessa Pappas, General Manager, TikTok US

Fair Competition and Transparency Benefits Us All

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July 29, 2020

“At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on.

TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy. The bigger move is to use this moment to drive deeper conversations around algorithms, transparency, and content moderation, and to develop stricter rules of the road. We are taking the first step of many to address these concerns, and call on the industry to follow our lead for the benefit of users and creators everywhere.”

Updates on TikTok’s Security Roadmap

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June 29, 2020

“We’re committed to building an app that respects the privacy of our users and to being more transparent with our community. We’ll continue to update you about ways we are improving TikTok, and later this year, we’ll open our Transparency Center to give experts a behind-the-scenes look at how we keep people safe and protect their privacy. Security is a job that is never finished, but I can tell you we’ll continue to aggressively build an experience that respects and protects our community.” – Roland Cloutier, TikTok Chief Information Security Officer

Headline News

The Wall Street Journal: TikTok Download Ban Is Blocked by Judge

Wall-Street-Journal-Square-Logo

The ruling marked the second time in a week that the U.S. courts struck down attempts by the Trump administration to block Americans’ access to Chinese-owned apps.

“There is no previous example in U.S. history of a complete ban of a media platform that directly deprives a quarter of the U.S. population access to information on that platform,” NetChoice, a trade group that represents online giants such as Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google, said in a court filing.

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The New York Times: C.I.A finds no evidence to support claims that the Chinese government has accessed TikTok user information.

When the C.I.A was asked recently to assess whether TikTok is a national security problem, they found no evidence to support claims that the Chinese government has accessed TikTok user information.

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The Verge: Trump’s TikTok ban is a gross abuse of power

“Make no mistake: something ugly and unprecedented is happening here. A social network that’s used by millions of people is set to be banned by presidential fiat, with no public evidence of wrongdoing and only the thinnest gesture at constitutional restraints to executive power.” – Russell Brandom, The Verge

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Bloomberg: Here’s why the U.S. shouldn’t jump to ban TikTok

“On a relative basis, TikTok isn’t an obvious target in terms of data collection. Its focus is sharing creative short-form videos, like dancing and lip-syncing. The app’s algorithm surfaces relevant content, using metrics like how many similar videos you watched. And compared to an app like Facebook, TikTok doesn’t require a large amount of data entry.” – Tae Kim, Bloomberg Technology Columnist

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CATO Institute: The Lesson of TikTok

Cato Institute

“Without more information from the administration, it is difficult for outsiders to judge how much of a threat TikTok poses to national security. TikTok says that it stores its data in the United States, with a backup located in Singapore. According to one analysis, TikTok does not appear to gather more user data than U.S. tech companies, such as Facebook, and there is no proof that it is sharing data with the Chinese government.” – CATO Institute

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Expert Opinions

“There’s scant evidence that TikTok is sharing our data with China, and we should be wary of xenophobia dressed up as privacy concerns”

– Geoffrey Fowler, The Washington Post

“Banning Americans from using TikTok would infringe the First Amendment rights of those users to express themselves online.”

– Taylor Lorenz, The New York Times

“With swarms of cybersecurity research scrutinizing TikTok for flaws, no malware has been discovered. Nor have there been outflows of information.”

– James Andrew Lewis, Center for Strategic & International Studies

“Fears about TikTok do seem overblown, the user data on it, names, email addresses, phone numbers, location data, are easy to get through other mechanisms, other apps collect the same information and sell it to anyone who is willing to pay.”

– Fareed Zakaria, CNN

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