As expected, Jean-Noël Barrot, the Minister Delegate for Digital, received a TikTok manager, and made him understand that he regretted that the project to store the data of Europeans in Europe had very long deadlines.
A wait to store European user data
TikTok recently announced the opening by the end of 2023 of three data centers in Europe – two in Ireland, one in Norway – where it promises to store European user data. This project, which is called Clover, aims to respond to European and American suspicions of a transfer of this data to China. As a reminder, the parent company of the social network is ByteDance, a Chinese company.
To plead his case, the jurist Erich Andersen, general counsel of ByteDance, is making a tour of European political leaders, including one with the French minister. According to AFP, Jean-Noël Barrot also told him that he wanted the French government to be regularly informed of the progress of his project, at a cost of 1.2 billion euros.
Asked about its commitments to no longer process personal data of Europeans in China, TikTok replied that it would not be able to guarantee this before everything is installed, that is to say at least a year, in 2024. But it has not formally committed to no longer processing any of this data in China. TikTok also announced a partnership with a European group responsible for controlling the processing of this data, without naming names.
Mistrust for TikTok in Europe and the United States
TikTok is trying to appease the mistrust of Europeans and Americans, after several governments and institutions banned the application on the work phones of their civil servants. The European Commission and Parliament have banned TikTok from their employees’ devices, as has the Danish parliament. The Czech Cybersecurity Agency has warned that the social network poses a security threat if installed on devices with access to sensitive data.
In the United States, where a law has decided to ban TikTok from the devices of public officials, a bill supported by the White House could lead to a total ban on the application.