Currently European user data is stored in Singapore and the United States, Elaine Fox, privacy officer for TikTok in Europe, told an online press briefing.

Faced with growing mistrust, the video app, owned by Chinese giant ByteDance, is working with a European partner company to ensure that this data is not transferred to China, similar to the measures taken in the United States.

This project called "Clover", worth 1.2 billion euros and started six months ago, will also make it possible to restrict the access of TikTok employees to data, said Theo Bertram, vice-president in charge of public policies in Europe.

"Similar to what we have done... in the United States, we will build a secure environment around this data to prevent access from outside the region," Bertram said.

One of the social network's global heads, Erich Andersen, general counsel for ByteDance, is touring Europe this week to address the criticism.

He spoke with political leaders in Brussels, London, Paris, and must go to The Hague.

TikTok is trying to allay the fears of Europeans and Americans, several of whose governments and institutions have banned the app from the work phones of their officials.

The European Commission and Parliament have banned TikTok from their employees' devices, as has the Danish parliament.

On Wednesday, the Czech Cybersecurity Agency (NUKIB) warned that the social network poses a "security threat" if installed on devices with access to sensitive data.

TikTok claims over 150 million users in Europe, including the UK.

The social network has always firmly denied that Beijing can access the data of its users.

In the EU, ByteDance is under investigation by the Irish Privacy Authority on suspicion of breaching EU data protection law (GDPR) regarding the processing of personal data children and data transfers to China.

© 2023 AFP