Posts Tagged: amid

TikTok says it’s storing US data domestically amid renewed security concerns

TikTok says it’s achieved a “significant milestone” toward its promises to beef up the security of its US users’ data. In a new update, the company says it has “changed the default storage location of US user data.”

As the company notes, it had already stored much of its user data in the United States, at a Virginia-based data center. But under a new partnership with Oracle, the company has migrated US user traffic to a new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

“Today, 100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” the company wrote in a blog post. “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.” Additionally, TikTok says it has made “operational changes,” including a new department “with US-based leadership, to solely manage US user data for TikTok.”

The moves are part of a longstanding effort by TikTok to address US officials’ concerns over how user data is handled by TikTok and parent company ByteDance. The company has been working to separate US user data so that it’s not accessible to China-based ByteDance as US lawmakers eye legislation to curb the influence of Chinese tech companies.

Still, the new safeguards are unlikely to fully sway critics of TikTok, who say the company still hasn’t addressed all potential concerns about how US user data is handled. In fact, just after TikTok published its blog post, BuzzFeed Newspublished a report that raises new questions about how the company handles the data of its US users.

The report, which was based on hours of internal meetings leaked to BuzzFeed, says that “China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users.” The recordings, which cover a time period between last September and January 2022, offer new details about the complex effort to cut off Bytedance's access to US user data.

The report quotes an outside consultant hired by TikTok to oversee some of the work saying that they believed there was “backdoor to access user data in almost all” of the company’s internal tools. It also quotes statements from several employees who say “that engineers in China had access to US data between September 2021 and January 2022, at the very least.”

It also notes that while data deemed “sensitive,” like users’ birth dates and phone numbers, will be stored in the Oracle servers, other information about US-based users could remain accessible to ByteDance. “ByteDance’s China-based employees could continue to have access to insights about what American TikTok users are interested in, from cat videos to political beliefs,” the report says.

That may not seem as serious as more personal information like birthdays and phone numbers, but it’s exactly the kind of details that some lawmakers in the US have raised concerns about. US officials have questioned whether the app’s “For You” algorithm could be used as a means of foreign influence.

“We know we're among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data,” TikTok said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Clubhouse lays off some employees amid strategic shift

Clubhouse has laid off some of its employees, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. It’s unclear exactly how many staff the company let go, but at least some now-former workers left voluntarily to pursue opportunities outside of Clubhouse. Among one of the more high-profile departures was Nina Gregory, a former National Public Radio editor who joined the company to head up its news partnerships initiative. Clubhouse also lost its community and international leads.

“A handful of roles were eliminated as part of streamlining our team, and a few individuals decided to pursue new opportunities,” a Clubhouse spokesperson told Bloomberg. “We are continuing to recruit for many roles across engineering, product and design.”

According to the outlet, the layoffs are part of a broader restructuring at Clubhouse as the company looks to rethink its growth strategy. Clubhouse found early success in the first year of the pandemic, thanks in part to the fact you needed an invite to start using the app. Unfortunately, it also quickly drew the attention of a handful of well-funded competitors, including Meta, Twitter and Spotify, all of which replicated the app’s core functionality within their own platforms. Clubhouse has done its best to offer the best live audio experience it can, adding features like real-time captioning and high-quality audio streaming to match and surpass its competitors, but it faces an uphill battle against tech giants.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

MoviePass stops offering tickets for big movies amid outages

MoviePass' financial and technical problems keep getting worse. According to a Business Insider source, company chief Mitch Lowe not only told staffers that the service wouldn't offer tickets for the next two major movie releases this summer (Christo…
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Oreo update for Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge paused amid glitches

Samsung is notoriously slow at rolling out software updates, especially new versions of Android. Following months of beta tests for Android 8.0 Oreo, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ received the final version in February, and the 2016 Galaxy S7 and S7 edge finally started seeing it earlier this month. The latter ground to a halt, unfortunately, […]

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Snap announces more layoffs amid content struggles

Snap has just laid off 22 employees, a sign that the company is continuing to struggle with slow user growth. The staff cuts affected teams across the company, but the content team was particularly hard hit. According to The Information, Snap's conte…
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LeEco layoffs affect 325 employees, pauses U.S. expansion amid financial crisis

It could be months before we see what’s next for LeEco. It might even be 2018 by the time we see anything new. With its cash spent and little revenue coming in, the company announced today its expansion in the United States is on hold indefinitely. Hundreds of employees have been laid off while the […]

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Nomad is offering free chargers for Pebble devices amid Fitbit acquisition

Mobile and wearable accessory vendor Nomad is offering free chargers for Pebble owners after Pebble announced it was shutting down due to an acquisition by Fitbit. Nomad’s chargers were supposed to sell for $ 15.

The post Nomad is offering free chargers for Pebble devices amid Fitbit acquisition appeared first on Digital Trends.

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