Amid the bans, TikTok takes measures to protect data in the European Union
TikTok (Android, iOS) will adopt a series of measures to align its data governance with European Union laws. Through Project Clover, announced this Wednesday, the 8th, the platform will ensure that its employees do not have access to the data of European users, which will be stored on the continent. A team has been working on this since 2022, but the measures will be implemented throughout 2023 and 2024.
The platform will introduce security gateways that will limit employee access to European user data, as well as transfer it outside of Europe, adding a new level of control. The company has ensured that any access to user data will comply with European data protection laws.
This process will be overseen and verified by a third-party European security company, which will audit controls and data protection. The company will also monitor data flows, ensuring independent verification and reporting any incidents.
The platform will adopt technology to improve data governance. This includes anonymizing personal data so that an individual cannot be identified to protect people’s privacy.
TikTok said it will start storing European users’ data locally in 2023, with the migration continuing until 2024, through an annual investment of 1.2 billion euros in three data centers. This Wednesday, the locations of two of them were announced: in Dublin, Ireland, and in Hamar, Norway. In 2022, the migration to the first European data center began, also in the Irish city.
Due to alleged ties by ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, to the Chinese government, the platform has come under scrutiny from authorities around the world. On March 1, 2023, the European Parliament announced the ban of TikTok from all official mobile devices of its members. On February 23, the European Council and the European Commission had done the same.
“The measure is necessary due to data protection concerns regarding the application. The goal is to protect the Commission’s data and systems from potential cyber security threats,” the Commission said in an internal email sent to its staff of more than 30,000 employees.
“Concerns about cyber security have been raised in the use of the social media platform TikTok, especially in relation to data protection and data collection by third parties”, justified the Assembly in front of 8,000 deputies.