Roland Cloutier, TikTok’s global chief security officer (CSO), is stepping down as the company converts to using Oracle’s US-based servers to store data from Americans. Cloutier will assume an advising role, according to an internal document posted by the firm in a post on its website, with TikTok’s head of security risk, vendor, and client assurance, Kim Albarella, temporarily taking over.
TikTok said in June that it has begun routing data from US users to Oracle servers in an effort to allay concerns that China, where TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, had unrestricted access to this information.
Cloutier was not involved in the management of TikTok’s new section dedicated to the handling of US user data, according to a TikTok spokeswoman. She also stated that this organizational change had been in the works for months before US legislators went after TikTok.
TikTok has been probed for years because of its ties to the China-based ByteDance, with some US officials accusing the app of funneling Americans’ data to the Chinese government. BuzzFeed News reported last month that TikTok employees in China “repeatedly” accessed US customers’ data from September 2021 to January 2022.
In response to the news, a group of Republican senators sent TikTok a letter questioning the veracity of the company’s evidence on data privacy during a hearing in October. TikTok reacted to similar concerns earlier this month, reiterating its intention to collaborate with Oracle to “completely safeguard user data.”