Privacy oversight of European TikTok users now shifted to Dublin

30 Jun 20201.08k Views

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TikTok’s Dublin office will now be responsible for privacy oversight of all European users, while the company has promised to make its terms of service more transparent.

The responsibilities of TikTok’s Irish base are set to grow after the company confirmed that its Dublin office will be responsible for the oversight of European users’ data.

In a statement, its EMEA director of legal and corporate affairs, Madeline Moncrieff, and its EMEA head of trust and safety, Cormac Keenan, said that from 29 July, the social media company’s Irish and UK entities will take over the safeguarding of European data from its US entity.

This means the service provider for EEA and Swiss users will change to TikTok Ireland, and the service provider for UK users will change to TikTok UK.

“As we have expanded across the region, TikTok Ireland has become responsible for maintaining users’ privacy and safety in Europe,” Moncrieff and Keenan said.

“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.”

TikTok now employs 1,000 people in Europe, of which 800 are based in the UK and Ireland. It announced in January that TikTok was to hire 100 staff in Dublin, creating a “trust and safety hub” for the EMEA region.

Reaction to India ban

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The short-form mobile video platform also announced plans to update its privacy policy and terms of service to make it more transparent for users. Users aged between 13 and 17 in Europe will now be presented with a summary of its privacy policy.

“We have also provided further details about the type of information we collect, how we use it, and who we share information with. We have added details about when we may ask you to provide proof of identity or age to use certain features such as Live,” the company said.

“Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing work to develop local teams to create the best experience for the TikTok community.”

Elsewhere, TikTok has been placed on a list of 59 Chinese apps banned by the Indian government. It claimed that these apps threatened “national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India”.

This will come as a major blow to TikTok, which counts India as one of its biggest markets with approximately 120m active monthly users.

In a statement, the head of TikTok India, Nikhil Gandhi, said: “TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government.

“Further, if we are requested to in the future we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity”.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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