Officials in the U.K., E.U., and the United States have expressed concerns that data from TikTok could be passed on to the Chinese government.
TikTok, which is hugely popular among younger demographics around the world, said the policy applies to the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The platform’s head of privacy for Europe, Elaine Fox, said that a global team helped keep the experiences of users “consistent, enjoyable and safe.”
TikTok’s European data is kept in the U.S. and Singapore, but employees from other countries can now access it. “We allow certain employees within our corporate group located in Brazil, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States remote access to TikTok European user data,” Fox said in a statement.
In the United States, President Joe Biden scrapped an earlier executive order from his predecessor Donald Trump demanding the sale of TikTok’s U.S. business, but has asked the Commerce Department to produce recommendations on how to protect Americans and their data from “foreign adversaries.”
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. is also conducting a security review of the platform, which has over 1 billion users worldwide. This week an official at the Federal Communications Commission said TikTok should be banned in the United States. “I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” said Brendan Carr, a commissioner at the FCC.
He added he believed there was not “a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party].”