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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Alamy Stock Photo The TikTok logo

TikTok to begin storing European user data in Dublin

The video platform has been treated with Western governments over how it handles user data

The Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok said on Tuesday it had opened a long-promised data centre in Ireland, as it tries to calm fears in Europe over data privacy.

“Our first data centre in Dublin, Ireland, is now operational and migration of European user data to the centre has begun,” TikTok said in a statement.

It also said that two further data centres, one in Norway and another in Ireland, are under construction. The plans for these centres were announced back in February.

TikTok have said that the centres will allow for all the app’s European data to be stored locally.

TikTok saw its popularity rocket during pandemic lockdowns, particularly with young people, and now boasts more than one billion users around the world and more than 125 million in Europe.

But the Chinese video platform, owned by the social media company Bytedance, has been the subject of increased scrutiny by Western governments over how it stores user data, and its alleged connections to the Chinese government.

Chris Stokel-Walker, author of a definitive book on TikTok, joined us on The Explainer podcast earlier this year to explain what the controversies around the Chinese-run app are. Hit the button below to listen

TikTok has repeatedly denied links to Beijing and said all user data was securely stored in Singapore and the United States.

Last year, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) indicated “a preliminary range of fines” to be imposed on the Irish arm of the social media giant, after an investigation into how it processes children’s data.

In April this year, the National Cyber Security Centre advised that the app be banned from government devices, following in the footsteps of others in the EU.

With additional reporting by Steven Fox.

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