Will USA-based TikTok be enough to safeguard privacy?

As we pointed out in previous notes, the US government demanded the transfer of the headquarters of TikTok to US territory to ensure the protection of the millions of data collected from its citizens, he said Foxbusiness. It is known that there is a clear suspicion that the Chinese government could be monitoring such data for various purposes.

In that sense, Joseph Moreno, national advisor and compliance director of SAP National Security Services stated: “You will never eliminate risk ... but you can certainly mitigate it”. According to Moreno, the handling of personal data, as well as the information regarding its storage and the control of the coding of the algorithm is information of interest, which could “reassure” those concerned about the security of this personal data.

On the other hand, according to Moreno, actually having headquarters in the United States would not be enough to safeguard the privacy of such data, in view of the cases of "questionable" treatment that he has in his "own home", such as the case of other social networks that have also had questions regarding the collection of personal data of their users and their uses beyond what is reported.

Another important issue is its extremely young user base, and therefore more vulnerable to non-consensual data collection. According to Moreno: “when you have a class of user who may be less privacy conscious than those of us who have seen things, been around the block a bit, that in itself is a concern that you don't see with traditional social media platforms. "

As is known, President Trump promoted the agreement between ByteDance (owner of TikTok) and Oracle and Walmart to safeguard the information that the social network collects. In that sense, he argued that the union of such companies could generate 25,000 jobs in Texas as long as they demonstrate that there would be "zero security risks." But, as long as ByteDance remains in control of at least some encryption mechanisms, such a claim is problematic to say the least.

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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.

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