Back in April Roland Cloutier, global chief information security officer at TikTok spoke about the company’s approach to security. He explained that the team was laser-focused on building its advanced security infrastructure, designing relevant programs, and engaging with the industry to develop its capabilities further.
“Clearly, a lot has changed since then – but a constant remains our continuous commitment to providing a safe and secure app experience for all of our users,” he said. “A core component of this commitment is our approach to data centre locations – and following a process that first began last year, we are announcing our intention to establish a new data centre in Ireland, and our first data centre in Europe.”
This investment in Ireland, to the value of approximately €420million, will create hundreds of new jobs and play a key role in further strengthening the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data, with a state of the art physical and network security defence system planned around this new operation. “This new regional data centre will deliver tangible benefits, including enabling faster loading time that will help our TikTok community to enjoy an even better experience,” Cloutier added. “When our data centre is operational, European user data will be stored in this new location.”
Ireland already plays a key role in the company’s rapidly expanding European operations. Since establishing its EMEA Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin at the start of this year, it has rapidly expanded the team. “We have appointed senior leaders who are continuously enhancing the strategies, policies and processes designed to keep people on TikTok safe,” Cloutier continued.
Reflecting the importance of the Irish operations, TikTok’s Irish company recently became the data controller alongside TikTok’s UK company, with the former now the service provider for its users across the EEA and Switzerland. As part of this development, TikTok are also continuing to grow its data protection and privacy teams.
“TikTok’s decision to establish its first European data centre in Ireland, representing a substantial investment here by the company, is very welcome and, following on from the establishment of its EMEA Trust & Safety Hub in Dublin earlier in the year, positions Ireland as an important location in the company’s global operations,” IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said.
“Protecting our community’s privacy and data is and will continue to be our priority,” Cloutier concluded. “The announcement is just the latest part of our ongoing work to enhance our global capability and efforts to protect our users and the TikTok community. This data centre signals our long-term commitment to Ireland and we expect the data centre to open and be operational by early 2022. We are continuing to work on the details with our key partners, including the IDA and we will share more updates on our progress in the near future.”