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TikTok is launching "Critical" New data security measures in Europe

TikTok announced Wednesday that it will implement a new security system in Europe called “Project Clover,” intended to strengthen existing protections for user data — and perhaps address concerns in the face of political pressure.

The company said the new policies will be implemented throughout the rest of the year and through 2024.

“More than 150 million people in Europe visit our platform every month to express themselves, learn new hobbies or skills, and grow their businesses,” read a press release from Theo Bertram, TikTok’s vice president of government relations in Europe. “With this kind of scale comes important responsibilities – building trust by ensuring the safety, privacy and security of our communities and their data matters.”

Sen.  Mark Warner discusses legislation to allow TikTok to be banned

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) (L) joins Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) to introduce the Limitation Act at the US Capitol on March 07, 2023 in Washington, DC. In response to software created in countries hostile to the US, including TikTok, the new law would allow the Commerce Department to take action on suspected foreign espionage risks in artificial intelligence, fintech, quantum computing and e-commerce.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

According to the social media platform, “Project Clover” will “enhance existing data protection systems by implementing security gateways that will determine employee access to European TikTok user data and data transfers outside of Europe.” Gateways will be overseen by a third party security organization in Europe, with further details of this independent verification system to be announced.

The platform is putting a renewed emphasis on local data storage, opening two new data centers in Ireland and Norway in addition to an existing data center in Ireland. Operating expenses for the centers exceed $1.2 billion per year.

TikTok has faced increased scrutiny in the West Security concerns, as officials expressed mistrust of the platform and its Chinese parent company. The European Parliament, European Commission and EU Council have all imposed bans on TikTok on workers’ devices; The app has also been banned US government devices.

In the United States, lawmakers are considering legislation Ban the platform nationwide.

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