TikTok’s global security chief to step down amid data controversy

Short video platform TikTok’s global chief security officer (CSO) Roland Cloutier will step down from that position and shift into a strategic advisory role.

Cloutier’s change in duties follows concerns about how the company handles US user data, reports Engadget.

TikTok recently admitted that employees outside of the country could access that information, although “robust cybersecurity controls and authorisation” from its US security team were required.

Cloutier will be an adviser on the business impact of TikTok’s security and trust programmes.

TikTok’s head of security risk, vendor and client assurance, Kim Albarella, will take over as the chief of the company’s worldwide security teams on an interim basis.

“Part of our evolving approach has been to minimise concerns about the security of user data in the US, including the creation of a new department to manage US user data for TikTok,” CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote in a memo to TikTok staff.

“This is an important investment in our data protection practices, and it also changes the scope of the global chief security officer role. With this in mind, Roland has decided to step back from his day-to-day operations as global CSO, effective September 2nd,” Chew added.

A TikTok spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that Cloutier wasn’t overseeing the new team that manages US user data. That department reports to Chew directly.

Cloutier’s departure was not related to lawmakers’ concerns over US data security, the spokesperson said, and the shift had been in the works for a couple of months.

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