TikTok global security head steps down, to stay on in consultant role
- Roland Cloutier will be replaced by Kim Albarella
- The move comes after nine Republican senators raised concerns about data privacy
- TikTok maintains that it does not share data with the Chinese government
TikTok’s global security officer, Roland Cloutier, has stepped down from the company after two and a half years, ever since U.S. lawmakers have heightened the scrutiny on how the Chinese company manages the data of its American users.
A few weeks ago, Republican senators revived concerns about TikTok and its ties to China. To that end, they sent a letter to the company demanding to know what was being done by the company to ensure that U.S. user data wasn’t falling into the hands of the Chinese Government.
TikTok responded by saying that all the U.S. user data was being routed to Oracle’s cloud architecture, which would eventually lead to the company deleting American user data from its cloud centres in Singapore. The company has continued to maintain that it does not share with the Chinese government, or the Chinese Communist Party, and it has not made any requests for data either.
CEO of the company, Shou Zi Chew along with ByteDance VP of technology Dingkun Hong released a memo to employees, which was later share publicly, stating that the company is going to “minimize concerns about the security of user data in the U.S.” and that it would be creating a new department to manage U.S. user data in the U.S.
While Cloutier has stepped down as the global security chief, he has moved on to becoming a consultant with TikTok, according to a report from Variety. For the time being, TikTok’s global head of security risk, Kim Albarella will be stepping in. Cloutier released his own memo to TikTok staffers saying that he was transitioning to a “strategic advisory role.”
The ex-global security chief joined the short-video company with numerous high profile gigs on his resume. He spent a decade working with the U.S. Air force, the Department of Veteran Affairs as well as the Department of Defence, in addition he spent time as the chief security officer for EMC, a data storage vendor.