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TikTok Unveils New US-Based 'Transparency and Accountability Center'

lundi 6 février 2023, 00:10 , par Slashdot
The Verge was part of 'a handful' of journalists invited to Los Angeles to tour TikTok's new 'Transparency and Accountability Center.... part of a multi-week press blitz by TikTok to push Project Texas, a novel proposal to the US government that would partition off American user data in lieu of a complete ban.'
TikTok says it has already taken thousands of people and over $1.5 billion to create Project Texas. The effort involves TikTok creating a separate legal entity dubbed USDS with an independent board from ByteDance that reports directly to the US government. More than seven outside auditors, including Oracle, will review all data that flows in and out of the US version of TikTok. Only American user data will be available to train the algorithm in the US, and TikTok says there will be strict compliance requirements for any internal access to US data. If the proposal is approved by the government, it will cost TikTok an estimated $700 million to $1 billion per year to maintain.....
At one point during the tour, I tried asking what would hypothetically happen if, once Project Texas is greenlit, a Bytedance employee in China makes an uncomfortable request to an employee in TikTok's US entity. I was quickly told by a member of TikTok's PR team that the question wasn't appropriate for the tour.

Other notes from the tour:

The journalists weren't allowed to enter a special server room 'housing the app's source code for outside auditors to review.'

A room that explained TikTok's algorithm using iMacs running 'code simulators' was 'frustratingly vague'

'Despite it being called a transparency center, TikTok's PR department made everyone agree to not quote or directly attribute comments made by employees leading the tour.'

The Verge ultimately concludes TikTok's Transparency and Accountability Center is 'a lot of smoke and mirrors designed to give the impression that it really cares.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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