TikTok launched a Norwegian data center where it will store data in three buildings, with the first phase opening next summer.
TikTok has acquired a facility in Norway developed by data center business Green Mountain AS that will become the social media company’s largest in Europe as it attempts to store data generated in the region locally.
The firm, which is owned by China-based Bytedance, has been attempting to address concerns about the Chinese government’s ability to access the data of European people who use TikTok.
Because of these concerns, several governments, including the European Parliament, the European Commission, and others, have prohibited TikTok from being on staff phones.
“We appreciate the skepticism. “And that’s exactly why we’re not just doing the step of putting the data in Europe, building that digital barrier around it,” TikTok’s VP of government relations and public policy, Theo Bertram, stated.
“We are taking the extra step of saying we know you’re skeptical about us, and so we know we have to earn that trust.”
TikTok launched Project Clover, a data security regime, in March to create data centers and store European user data locally.
The Norwegian data center will be in the town of Hamar, where TikTok will store data in three buildings, with the first phase opening next summer.
The data center in Norway will run entirely on renewable energy and create heat that can be reused. TikTok stated that a third-party provider is in discussions with a variety of sectors and academic institutions about potential projects that could benefit from this level of heat re-use.
TikTok has stated that it intends to invest 12 billion euros in Project Clover over the next ten years. It has previously stated plans to invest 1.2 billion euros per year.
This will cover the costs of constructing three data centers, implementing privacy-enhancing technologies, and hiring the British cybersecurity firm NCC to audit and offer independent verification of its data controls.
“One of the things in the contract with NCC is that they can go and talk to data protection authorities and national cyber security organizations without us being involved,” Bertram added.
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