TikTok Chooses Ireland for European Union Privacy Operations

On Monday TikTok revealed that it has decided to base its operations for data privacy within the  European Union to Ireland.

This comes following the establishment of  the social networking platform’s Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin last January. The latest announcement now confirms that all of TikTok’s European Union privacy operations to will be moving to this office site.

A statement released on the company blog said: “As we continue to develop our local teams to support our community, we are making an important change to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. From July 29th, TikTok’s Irish and UK entities will take over from TikTok Inc, our US entity, to provide TikTok to users in Europe and manage and safeguard their personal data.”

The statement made special reference to the local talent that has been brought on boards in the European office. It said: “Since we launched in Europe, we have invested in local talent, created a regional senior leadership team, and set up essential business functions in the region because we believe this is the best way to support our growing TikTok community here.

“It has been humbling to see so many enjoy the creativity of the TikTok community, and we now have over 1,000 employees in Europe, with 800 of our people based in the UK and Ireland.”

By moving its privacy operation to Dublin, TikTok will come under the watchful eye of the Irish Data Protection Office in relation to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (DPO). This is significant as the DPO has not been seen to be as strict in relation to imposing fines for GDPR breaches as some other EU member states’ data protection authorities have.

In relation to the decision to base operations in Ireland, the company release said: “As we have expanded across the region, TikTok Ireland has become responsible for maintaining users’ privacy and safety in Europe. Our Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin allows us to focus on strengthening policies, technologies, and moderation strategies to keep our community safe, while our new data privacy team will focus on upholding the highest standards of data protection.”

This move comes as TikTok has updated its terms of service in an attempt to make its operations in relation to data collection more transparent. The company will be “providing users who are aged between 13 and 17 in Europe with a summary of our Privacy Policy” and providing “further details about the type of information we collect, how we use it, and who we share information with.”

This move further bolsters Ireland position as the go-to choice for large multinational Internet companies to base their European Union headquarters and centers responsible for data collection and privacy, Already Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple have based their privacy managed operations for the EU in Ireland.