TikTok has introduced security measures to ease concerns that it may be compelled to share user data with China. The measures, collectively known as Project Clover, involve the deployment of a separate security company to “monitor data flows”.
Additionally, TikTok will introduce measures to make it more difficult to identify individual users within data. The company has also introduced “security gateways” to control employee access to European user data and limit data transfers outside of Europe. The European Commission has prohibited staff members from using the app, which is owned by ByteDance.
As part of its efforts to earn trust by storing European user data locally, TikTok has announced plans to build two new data centers in Dublin and the Hamar region of Norway. These centers will be powered by renewable energy and operated by third parties.
The company has been working on Project Clover since last year, and TikTok’s Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy in Europe, Theo Bertram, has stated that the company. In the US, a similar plan known as Project Texas is also underway.
TikTok is fighting hard to dispel any concerns about its potential as a national security threat. The company’s executives have announced Project Clover, stating that they are going further than other major social networks in protecting user privacy.
This includes holding a press conference to discuss the privacy changes and answering questions from the public. However, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be enough to save the platform.
In the past, Chinese telecoms company Huawei made extensive efforts to prove its trustworthiness. It set up a transparency center in Oxfordshire, which UK cyber chiefs inspected for years.
Despite finding no signs of Chinese government interference, the US still banned Huawei from its 5G networks due to concerns about spying.
Project Clover is aimed at convincing European lawmakers that TikTok is safe. However, the app’s future remains uncertain unless the US can be convinced.
At present, the US is taking steps to restrict TikTok, and history tells us that this may put the app’s future in jeopardy.
The announcement of Project Clover came one day after US President Joe Biden expressed support for a bill granting the power to ban foreign-owned technology, which was promoted by Democrat Mark Warner and Republican John Thune. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear before Congress later this month.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight program, TikTok expressed concerns about becoming a “pawn” in diplomatic tensions between the US and China.
Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s US Head of Public Policy, stated that the company is caught up in broad geopolitical issues that are unrelated to its operations. Beckerman also noted that many major tech companies employ engineers in China and gather significant amounts of user data. He emphasized that TikTok is taking measures to ensure the security of user data and address concerns.