TikTok moves privacy oversight of European users to Dublin

Social media company to provide details of its data handling

TikTok is moving responsibility for safeguarding the privacy of its European users to its Irish and UK entities, the social media company confirmed on Monday.

Under the changes, the service provider for EEA-Swiss users will change to TikTok Ireland, with the UK office taking charge of service provision for UK users. TikTok UK will also become data controllers for users in the EEA, Switzerland and the UK.

In a statement on the company's news site, TikTok's head of trust and safety for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Cormac Keenan and Madeline Moncrieff, director of legal and corporate affairs for EMEA, said the change would take effect from July 29th.


“Since we launched in Europe, we have invested in local talent, created a regional senior leadership team, and set up essential business functions in the region because we believe this is the best way to support our growing TikTok community here,” the statement said.


“From July 29th, TikTok’s Irish and UK entities will take over from TikTok Inc, our US entity, to provide TikTok to users in Europe, and manage and safeguard their personal data.”

TikTok employs more than 1,000 people in Europe, with 800 based in the UK and Ireland. London remains a major office for the company, its second biggest, with a trust and safety hub in Dublin headed up by Mr Keenan.

In January, the company said it would establish a new European base in Dublin, employing 100 people.


“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,” the statement said.

“This work is overseen by the Office of the Data Protection Officer to drive accountability and encourage a culture of privacy awareness and compliance.”

The company is also changing its terms of service and privacy policy in an effort to make it more transparent. That includes providing details of the type of information it collects, how the data is used and with whom it is shared.

TikTok has notched up about 1 billion users since it was established more than three years ago, and has proved particularly popular with younger users.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist