In a bid to please regulators, TikTok opens its first EU data center

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

TikTok has started transferring European user information to its newly launched data center in Ireland. In an update on Tuesday, TikTok says it’s working on opening two additional data centers in Europe, including one in Norway and another in Ireland.
TikTok’s move to open a data center in Ireland comes as the European Union clamps down on large online platforms with the Digital Services Act, a rule that has forced TikTok to make its algorithm optional for users in the EU.
TikTok says it’s working with the NCC Group, a UK-based security company, to audit its “data controls and protections, monitor data flows, provide independent verification, and report any incidents.” It adds that only “approved employees” can access the controls and operations of the system.
The new data centers are all part of TikTok’s “Project Clover” initiative that aims to localize the storage of European data. It’s the European equivalent of “Project Texas” in the US, which similarly aims to assuage concerns about data privacy by routing user data through servers owned by the American company Oracle.
As concerns about TikTok’s ties to China continue to mount, governments around the globe have been cracking down on the use of the app. While TikTok has been banned on devices issued by the US House of Representatives, Montana has moved to ban the app completely in 2024. The European Commission also banned its staff from using TikTok.

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