Don’t treat us as political football, TikTok tells Australian panel

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Sydney, Sep 21 | Short video-sharing platform TikTok, which has just got some reprieve in the US market after a deal with Oracle and Walmart, told an Australian Senate committee in its written submission that it accepts the scrutiny and embraces the challenge of providing more transparency and accountability.

Participating in the Senate Select Committee’s consultation process as part of the inquiry into and report on the risks posed by foreign interference through social media, TikTok also said that it has received more scrutiny due to the company’s origins.

However, the short video sharing platform, owned by Chinese unicorn Bytedance, said that with its success comes with “responsibility and accountability”.

“While we don’t want TikTok to be a political football, we accept this scrutiny and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind by providing even more transparency and accountability,” the company said in its submission ahead of its upcoming appearance before the committee on Friday.

“We believe it is essential to show our users, advertisers, creators, and regulators that we are responsible and committed members of the community, particularly as we create more jobs and increase our investment in Australia,” TikTok added.

TikTok said the personal data it collects from users in Australia is stored on servers located in the United States and Singapore.

“We have strict controls around security and data access. As noted in our transparency reports, TikTok has never shared Australian user data with the Chinese government, nor censored Australian content at its request,” it wrote.

“We apply HTTPS encryption to user data transmitted to our data centres and we also apply key encryption to the most sensitive personal data elements. User data is only accessible by employees within the scope of their jobs and subject to internal policies and controls.”

TikTok is currently banned in India and it recently withdrew from the Hong Kong market following the introduction of the new security law.

In China, ByteDance offers a different short-form video app called Douyin.

Source: IANS

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