While TikTok faces bans across multiple countries it appears to follow industry norms when it comes to data capture according to Citizen Lab Research. This is of course a stark cry from Washington’s claims that the Bytedance-owned social media platform is sharing US user data with Chinese officials.
To combat all the bad press and develop their own best practice framework Bytedance announced Project Clover, which outlines strategies for improving European data security.
Project Clover aims to guarantee that ByteDance employees cannot access or transfer European user data externally without complying with data protection laws such as GDPR.
The initiative will also be overseen by a third-party European security company, but it doesn’t stop there. ByteDance is also proposing two mechanisms for anonymizing user data, the goal of which is to ensure that any malicious parties that wanted to access TikTok user data could not exploit it for phishing or other types of attack.
Bytedance has been forced to make these concessions in the wake of mounting pressure, but will it be enough to save them from a UK/US ban? The answer to this question may not be a risk to society’s mental health or the much debated risk to data privacy, but instead, could lie in the fact that TikTok threatens the dominance of incumbent platforms.