The social networking giant TikTok will now base all of its European privacy operations in Ireland.
The company notified users of the change today.
“From July 29th, TikTok Technology Limited (TikTok Ireland) and TikTok Information Technologies Limited (TikTok UK) will become data controllers for users in the EEA, Switzerland and the UK. The service provider for EEA/Swiss users will change to TikTok Ireland, and the service provider for UK users will change to TikTok UK.”
The move means even more work for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, who is already knee-deep in investigations and audits of major tech multinationals.
Ireland is increasingly by tech giants seen as the European country to base privacy governance operations in due to the presence of other tech behemoths here, primarily Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple.
The Irish privacy regulator is expected to announce rulings on a handful of major investigations in coming months, with the possibility of major fines.
Earlier this month, EU data protection authorities announced an intention to take a closer look at TikTok’s privacy practices following a Dutch regulatory decision to open an investigation into the company’s policies around protecting children’s data.
US authorities have expressed concern over TikTok’s relationship with the Chinese government, as it is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. TikTok has always rejected any accusation of interference by Chinese government authorities.
“We now have over 1,000 employees in Europe, with 800 of our people based in the UK and Ireland,” said a TikTok blogpost written by the company’s director of legal affairs, Madeline Moncrieff, and its head of trust and safety, Cormac Keenan.
“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 work is overseen by the Office of the Data Protection Officer to drive accountability and encourage a culture of privacy awareness and compliance.”