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Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

TikTok's head of cybersecurity is stepping down amid rising privacy concerns on the Chinese-owned app

TikTok's head of cybersecurity is stepping down amid rising privacy concerns on the Chinese-owned app

TikTok's Chief Security Officer is stepping back later this year. The move comes amid calls to investigate the social media app's ties to China.
TikTok's chief security officer is leaving the role in September amid renewed calls from members of the government to look into the social media app's ties to China.

A TikTok spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the decision to replace Roland Cloutier as Chief Security Officer is unrelated to any data-privacy concerns.

TikTok, which is currently the fastest growing social media company, has often faced scrutiny for being owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Last month, Buzzfeed News reported that US user data had been repeatedly accessed by TikTok employees in China based on leaked audio from internal company meetings.

The report resulted in backlash from Washington, with an FCC commissioner calling on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from its app stores.

TikTok confirmed in a letter that its China-based employees have access to US user data, but only through an "approval process."

CEO Shou Zi Chew sent a note to TikTok employees about Cloutier's exit as chief security officer, writing that "part of our evolving approach has been to minimize concerns about the security of user data in the U.S., including the creation of a new department to manage U.S. user data for TikTok. This is an important investment in our data protection practices, and it also changes the scope of the Global CSO role."

Cloutier will officially step down from his role as Chief Security Officer in September and transition to an advisory role at TikTok.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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