Talk about déjà vu! TikTok’s blog post today declaring that all of its U.S. user data is now on Oracle cloud servers in the U.S. took us back in time, to the summer of 2020, when the big story in tech business was Trump’s war on TikTok. Trump’s threats to ban TikTok—over concerns about the security of U.S. user data—didn’t pan out, of course. But Oracle got a foot in the door through that summer’s tortured deal making, leading to what TikTok announced today.
It’s likely not a coincidence that TikTok put out the Oracle announcement—which emphasizes the security of U.S. user data—the same day BuzzFeed published an in-depth story suggesting that China-based engineers working for TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, have repeatedly accessed TikTok’s U.S. user data. The story will fuel worries about the security risks posed by TikTok’s Chinese ownership. In other words, Trump’s arguments about TikTok appear to have been well placed.