Soon, TikTok will set up a data centre in Dublin, Ireland, in an effort to house UK & EEA (TikTok) user data.
Working with an established third-party service provider on a site that is under construction, its data centre operations will commence in early 2023, ramping up throughout the rest of that year, the company said in a post. Elaine Fox, Head of Privacy, TikTok – Europe said:
Last year, we outlined the approach we’re taking in Europe to data governance, based on the principles of storing UK & EEA TikTok user data locally; minimising data flows outside of the region; and strictly limiting the number of employees with access to personal data to those who need it to do their job.
First European touch point
TikTok has long stored global user data in Singapore and the US. “As a forward-looking company intent on continuing to provide a fulfilling platform for creators and businesses to entertain and realise meaningful opportunities, we believe it is important to provide a localised solution that includes leaning on the expertise of leadership and employees in the region. Such a regional approach to data governance enables us to stay aligned with European data sovereignty goals,” stated Fox.
At the same time, TikTok is minimising data flows outside of the region in a way that allows it to maintain the global interoperability needed to ensure that our users here remain connected to its 1 billion strong community. When it comes to requirements of data transfers outside of the region, TikTok relies on approved methods for data being transferred from Europe, such as standard contractual clauses.
Also, it employs a range of complementary technical, contractual and organisational measures so that these transfers are afforded an equivalent level of data protection to that in the UK and EEA. This means in practice that any personal data is protected through a robust set of physical and logical security controls, along with various policies and data access controls for employees.
TikTok’s data centre operations illustrate its continued investment in Europe. “We have thousands of employees across the region, working on areas including brand and creator engagement, e-commerce, monetisation, music, privacy, product, public policy, R&D and trust and safety. We’ve announced permanent offices in two of our most important global hubs, Dublin and London. We’re further bolstering our local leadership teams in France, Italy and Spain and are scaling our business in new markets such as Belgium and the Netherlands,” said Fox.
This latest investment also further cements the importance of Ireland in its global business operations. Since 2020, TikTok has established and expanded a number of strategically-important functions including its EMEA Trust & Safety and European SMB hubs.
Last year, TikTok launched its European Transparency and Accountability Centre, where industry experts are provided with detailed insights into how TikTok secures its community’s safety, data, and privacy. In addition, the European privacy legal team and Office of the Data Protection Officer are both based in Ireland. “We’re also expanding our global security organisation there with the establishment of our specialist Fusion Centre,” said Fox.