The letters below were shared internally to our company earlier today, announcing an update to our global security organization.

A Message from Global Chief Security Officer Roland Cloutier

Hi team – Roland here with an important personal update.

When I joined the company over two years ago, I was inspired by the opportunity to support amazing human connections, moments, and movements by enabling over a billion people from diverse backgrounds and geographies to express themselves creatively, embrace their true authentic selves, be entertained, and find joy. Essential to that experience is the knowledge that users have a safe and secure experience on our platform, and I can proudly say that we've made significant progress in delivering on the promises we've made to our global community, business partners, and governments around the world.

With our recent announcement about data management changes in the US, it's time for me to transition from my role as Global Chief Security Officer into a strategic advisory role focusing on the business impact of security and trust programs, working directly with Shou, Dingkun and other senior leaders.

At TikTok, the security and privacy of our global community is always our priority. We know that staying ahead of next-generation cyberthreats requires continuously strengthening the security of our platform. That's why we constantly work to validate our security standards and collaborate with industry-leading experts to test our defenses. I'm immensely proud of our work in the past 2+ years – including a few of the many highlights we accomplished together:

  • Advancing industry-leading capabilities in data defense and trust assurance as a critical part of our security protocols. This includes daily testing and validation, minimizing employee access to user data, and minimizing data transfers across regions with a focus on addressing who has access, why they need it, and where those people are located.
  • Earning ISO 27001 certifications in the US, UK, Ireland, Singapore, and India for investing in the people, processes, and technology to keep our community safe, along with an ioXt Alliance certification for meeting rigorous standards and commitments to cybersecurity, transparency, and privacy.
  • Establishing relationships with top public, private, and governmental organizations, including leaders like the National Cybersecurity Alliance, Identity Theft Awareness Center, Global Cyber Alliance, Europol, and INTERPOL through industry programs to ensure the protection of online communities around the world.
  • Moving from last place in NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence Social Media Manipulation evaluation to 2nd place in this year's report, recognizing our commitment to investing in automated technology, comprehensive policies, and growing our team of experts to stay ahead of the ever-evolving tactics of people and organizations who aim to mislead others.

This all has been possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of our global security organization. As I prepare to sign off from this role, I'm excited to move into a new one with pride in all that we’ve accomplished. I look forward to taking on this new focus as strategic advisor to the company, and I can’t wait to watch the amazing things TikTok and its global community will continue to imagine, build, and deliver to the world in the years ahead.

A Message from TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew and ByteDance VP of Technology Dingkun Hong

Since first meeting Roland Cloutier, we immediately felt his passion for what we are building. Since Day 1, he has embraced our mission to inspire creativity and bring joy with an unwavering focus on safeguarding our global community. His thoughtful and strategic approach to enabling teams and ensuring business operations protection at scale is among many of the attributes that make Roland a stand-out leader. He joined the company at a pivotal moment, when TikTok was at the center of a global conversation on data security.

Over these past 2 years, he has demonstrated the commitment, resilience, and innovative spirit that his team, our creators, and those who partner and advertise with us needed, taking special care to understand their viewpoints and building our approach to data security to reflect them. This approach has helped us continuously improve our safety controls and people's experiences.

Part of our evolving approach has been to minimize concerns about the security of user data in the US, including the creation of a new department to manage US user data for TikTok. This is an important investment in our data protection practices, and it also changes the scope of the Global Chief Security Officer (CSO) role.

With this in mind, Roland has decided to step back from his day-to-day operations as Global CSO, effective September 2nd. He will take on the role of strategic advisor to the company, continuing to work together with senior leadership to help us focus on the business impact of our security and trust programs.

We are grateful for Roland's many significant contributions to the organization, and we thank him for his leadership and the strong foundation he built for our important work in keeping our community secure.

Kim Albarella will serve as interim head of our Global Security Organization to help ensure a smooth transition while we maintain a strong focus on data privacy and security excellence. We are confident in Kim’s deep understanding of security issues, combined with her more than 20 years of leadership and communications experience, and we are grateful to her for taking on this role.

We will work closely with Roland, Kim, and the entire team to do our part to make sure that our creators, partners, and community can expect the same outstanding service, commitment to security and joyful creativity that the company has always provided, and we want to extend a thank you to all of our global and U.S. security teams whose dedication and collaboration are integral to our continued success.