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TikTok to open first European Transparency Centre

By Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

TikTok is to create a Transparency and Accountability Centre in Europe to provide an opportunity for experts and policymakers to see how the company builds and secures its platform.

It comes as the social media platform continues to face questions over its security.

Last week, the former Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield announced she was leading a legal claim against the video-sharing site, which accuses the company of collecting children’s data on an “industrial scale”, claims which the firm denies.

TikTok said the new Transparency and Accountability Centre – to be based in Ireland – would enable visiting experts to get an insight into how technology is used to keep the app’s users safe and how content moderation takes place involving both human reviewers and machine learning.

The opening of a European branch follows the launch of a similar centre in the United States last year, which has so far given virtual tours to more than 70 policymakers and academics, TikTok said.

The firm said the scheme had allowed experts to learn more about the company’s approach and ask questions about its safety and security practices.

Cormac Keenan, TikTok’s head of trust and safety, said: “With more than 100 million users across Europe, we recognise our responsibility to gain the trust of our community and the broader public.

“Our Transparency and Accountability Centre is the next step in our journey to help people better understand the teams, processes, and technology we have to help keep TikTok a place for joy, creativity, and fun.

“We know there’s lots more to do and we’re excited about proactively addressing the challenges that lie ahead. I’m looking forward to welcoming experts from around Europe and hearing their candid feedback on ways we can further improve our systems.”

The company said while it would operate virtually initially, it hoped to open the physical centre in 2022.

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