Texas et Clover: quand TikTok veut montrer patte blanche face aux autorités

Already targeted by the American administration and now by the European institutions, the Chinese application is counting on two major projects to convince of its good faith.

By Louis Adam

Faced with criticisms of the European administration, which fears a risk of espionage, Tiktok gave Tuesday March 7 a first overview changes envisaged by the application to reassure its users. Called “Project Clover” (Trèfle project), this program aims to offer greater transparency on the fate of the data of European application customers: Tiktok thus announces the opening of two additional data centers in Europe, one in Ireland And one in Norway, which brings the total of the centers built by Tiktok in Europe to three.

The company specifies that the construction of these three facilities represents a total investment of 1.2 billion euros for the company. Tiktok promises that, by 2024, all the data of its European users will be accommodated and processed within the European Union.

In addition, the company agrees to submit to an examination carried out by “a European cybersecurity company” which will be responsible for analyzing the “controls and data protections, to monitor data flows, to provide an independent verification And to report any incident “. For the moment, Tiktok does not reveal which actor will be responsible for carrying out these checks but ensures that he has already contacted a potential candidate and promises to announce the name of the company in the coming weeks.

Finally, the application promises that its teams will deploy new technologies to guarantee users better protection of their data and their privacy. The company mentions as an example the use of the “pseudonymization” of the data collected by the application, which prevents precisely associating a user of it with a name and a first name or any other data the identifier.

European declination

The Clover project is largely inspired by the efforts already made by Tiktok in the United States. In 2022, the company had thus responded to the criticisms which aimed at it by revealing a first migration project , called “Project Texas”. Similar to the advanced project for the European Union, the Texas project aims to repatriate, in the long term, all of the data belonging to American users of the application on servers entirely based in the United States and administered by the American company Oracle. A way for the company to respond to criticism of the transmission in China of data collected by Tiktok.

To this relocation of the data is added other guarantees advanced by the social network, in particular the creation of a subsidiary called US Data Security (USDS) responsible for administering American activities of Tiktok and equipped with advice independent administration of Bytedance. The American company Oracle will play a major role there, and will also be responsible, alongside seven other companies, to analyze the source code and the application updates before their deployment on American application stores.