Exactly as happened in the United States, also in Europe the controversy over the confidentiality and data security of TikTok subscribers mounts (again).
Five center-right MEPs, including Italians Susanna Ceccardi (League) e Carlo Fidanza (Brothers of Italy)asked the European Commission to clarify whether the data are accessible in China: in a letter addressed to the President, Ursula von der Leyen, and to the Commissioners for Digital, Margrethe Vestager and Thierry Breton, the 5 MEPs expressed “Concerns” after the rumors published by BuzzFeed. The article, which dates back to almost two months ago, is the same one from which American senators and deputies left and tells of the possible existence of “access routes” to US user data by Chinese employees of ByteDance, the company which controls TikTok.
Together with Gianna Gancia and Tom Vandendriessche (Identity and Democracy) and with the MEP Ivan Vilibor Sincic, Ceccardi and Fidanza pointed out that if “a similar scenario were also possible in the EU”, then “an enormous amount of data on EU citizens could be accessible at any time to the Chinese authorities”. For this reason, the 5 said they were “deeply convinced that it would be a serious mistake let this happen at a time of geopolitical repositioning for the EU and its Western allies ”.
Does TikTok have a problem with reporters? My two years of fake news, death threats and unfounded accusations
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TikTok Italia: “From 2023 a datacenter in Dublin”
TikTok has always claimed that US and European data are stored in Singapore and the USA and that they would not be accessible in China, rejecting BuzzFeed’s allegations: “We never shared US user data with the Chinese government nor would we if asked, ”the company told us recentlyrecalling the recent agreement with Oracle for the retention of American subscriber data on American servers.
All concepts reiterated also on this occasion: “TikTok does not operate in China”, they told us from the Italian office, recalling that “politicians and government departments across the European Union use TikTok to reach millions of people”. What’s more: the company has confirmed that it has “signed the contract for a datacenter in Dublin that will host data from TikTok users from the UK and the 27 EU countriesin addition to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway “and that” we are working on a site currently under construction with an established external service provider, with the aim of start operations of our datacenter at the beginning of 2023, to then increase its operations during the year “.
The other issue: the British Parliament closes the profile
To somehow aggravate the situation is the fact that all this happens while the UK Parliament has decided to close the account on TikTok precisely because of doubts about data confidentiality.
The fears, expressed by some conservative deputies, are more or less the same and are contained in a letter sent to the speakers of the two chambers: the first signatory is the deputy Nus Ghani (Tory), along with Tom virtue (former party leadership candidate) and Sir Iain Duncan Smith, known for his highly critical positions towards China. The text states that “the prospect of Xi Jinping’s government having access to personal data on our children’s phones should be of great concern.”
Pending an official reply, a Westminster it was therefore decided to suspend the pilot project which had led to the creation of a parliamentary profile to attract younger people.