TikTok has started migrating its European users' data to its long-promised center in Ireland. The video-focused social network has announced that its Ireland data center is finally operational as part of its larger progress update for Project Clover. TikTok announced the data privacy and security initiative back in March shortly after the European Commission banned staff members from using its app on work devices. As TechCrunch notes, though, the service revealed that it was putting up a data center in Ireland way back in 2020, with the expectation that it was going to be operational by early 2022.
Now that TikTok was able to overcome the issues that caused delays to the center's launch, it has started data migration, which likely won't be finished until the fourth quarter of 2024. Meanwhile, a second center in Ireland and another Norway are also under construction. The video hosting service has been under intense scrutiny over the past few years, and these are part of its efforts to get authorities to trust the app. In 2022, TikTok's parent company ByteDance confirmed that some of its employees, whom it eventually fired, accessed the data of several users in the US, including journalists. The revelation came in the midst of state governments banning TikTok from government-owned devices.
In addition to announcing the beginning of data migration, TikTok has also revealed that it has secured the services of a company called the NCC Group. The information assurance firm based in the UK will audit its data controls and protections, monitor its data flows, provide independent verification and report any incidents if needed. TikTok says the company will monitor data coming in and out of the center so it can ensure that only approved employees can access users' sensitive information.