TikTok opened its first European data center in Dublin this week as part of its ongoing efforts to alleviate western data security fears. The move, which the company calls ‘Project Clover’, represents the inaugural opening of three such facilities on the continent – two set to be situated in Ireland while a third will be located in Norway.
Both European and US legislators have expressed concern in recent years that the social media giant, owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, may be obliged to give private user information to Beijing. These fears have prompted a number of bans of the app from government phones and official devices.
TikTok denies any wrong doing, but hopes that storing this private data locally in Europe, which has very stringent privacy rules concerning user information, will ease these worries. In addition, TikTok announced that an independent third-party security company will be auditing its work at the data center.
British cyber security firm NCC said it will be ensuring that only approved employees will have access to the data stored at the facility, as well as monitoring for any suspicious access attempts in real time. Both NCC and TikTok are set to be working closely with European officials in the coming months as Project Clover continues.