TikTok has rolled out new measures to protect user data in Europe as the Chinese-owned social media app seeks to address growing security concerns from governments around the world.
On Wednesday, the company said its European data security regime, known as Project Clover, includes two data centers already notified for the Republic and a third data center in Norway, which will serve 150 million Europeans. It said it plans to store user-generated videos, messages, and personal information. platform.
The move comes at a time when the burgeoning social media network faces multiple pressures from the government, including a ban and possible sale of its business in the United States.
[ TikTok plans second data centre for Ireland ]
The White House on Tuesday backed a congressional bill that would give the administration new powers to ban Chinese apps that pose security threats, such as TikTok.
Meanwhile, the European Commission last month announced plans to ban employees from using TikTok over security concerns over the app’s widespread use, followed by the Canadian government.
Other new security measures announced by TikTok on Wednesday included aggregating personal data until TikTok could no longer associate it with a specific individual.
It also revealed plans to work with a European security firm that independently audits and reports to national security agencies and regulators on data management and protection. TikTok said it was still in discussions and could not name the third party.
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TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny for its ties to the Chinese government through owner ByteDance. Regulators and security experts say under local laws Chinese companies may be forced to disclose data to the state and limit cross-border transfers of sensitive information. expresses concern.
Theo Bertram, TikTok’s vice president of government relations and a former adviser to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, said the data is stored in the United States and Singapore, not in China, and that the Chinese government could get it from there. said it was “impossible”. By requesting these from the government, users can legally use them.
He added: We are taking data sovereignty to a level never seen before by a billion-user data company. ”
TikTok said it will begin transferring user data to its new European data center this year and plans to complete the process by 2024.
In December, the company revealed that staff in the United States and China improperly obtained data from users, including Financial Times journalists, to analyze user locations as part of an internal leak investigation. TikTok said staff had left the company. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2023