Category: Blog

TikTok’s Data Migration to Ireland: A Move to Rebuild Trust

In a bid to regain trust and alleviate concerns regarding Chinese ownership, popular social media platform TikTok has embarked on a significant data migration journey. As of now, the company has initiated the process of hosting the data of its European users in Ireland.

TikTok’s Data Relocation Strategy

TikTok, a subsidiary of the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, recently confirmed that its first data center in Dublin, Ireland, is fully operational, with the migration of European user data to this center already underway.

Additionally, TikTok is in the process of constructing two more data centers in Norway and Ireland. This comprehensive project, named “Clover” and initially announced in March, represents a substantial annual investment of €1.2 billion for TikTok.

As part of its commitment to data security, TikTok has partnered with the British cybersecurity firm NCC Group. NCC Group will conduct an independent audit of data protection measures, monitor data flows, and promptly report any security incidents.

Data Protection Measures

To ensure that employees of ByteDance in China do not access the “protected data” of European users, TikTok has implemented measures similar to those applied to the platform in the United States. These safeguards aim to prevent access to sensitive information such as real names, email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, and other personal data under European regulations.

However, certain aggregated, public, or interoperable data will continue to circulate and be hosted outside of Europe.

Transparency and Ongoing Efforts

TikTok has not disclosed the percentage of data already transferred from its existing data centers in the United States and Singapore. Nevertheless, the company is committed to this data localization effort, which was first proposed in August 2020 but did not materialize at the time.

French Minister for Digital Affairs, Jean-Noël Barrot, commented on these developments, emphasizing the need for continued vigilance and efforts to ensure data security.

Global User Base and Past Challenges

TikTok boasts 150 million users in the United States and 134 million in the European Economic Area. The company asserts complete legal separation from its Chinese entities and vehemently denies sharing user data with Chinese authorities.

Despite these claims, ByteDance acknowledged in December 2022 that some employees had accessed data belonging to two American journalists during an internal investigation into data leaks. Consequently, countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, and the European Commission banned the TikTok app on government employees’ phones.

A Changing Landscape

In response to growing scrutiny, TikTok has introduced several measures in France, including tools for researchers and regulators, a non-personalized news feed, the cessation of personalized ads for minors, and an option to report content. Additionally, TikTok France appointed an American, Adam Presser, as its new leader, replacing the previous Sino-Canadian president, Zhao Tian.

In conclusion, TikTok’s move to host European user data in Ireland reflects a commitment to data security and transparency, addressing concerns raised by governments and users alike. As this migration progresses, it marks a significant step toward rebuilding trust in the platform’s global operations.

Reimagining Digital Marketplaces: EU Sets New Rules for Tech Giants

The European Commission has designated services from six major tech companies as “gatekeepers” of online messaging and video sharing.

This includes social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger, operating systems like Android, iOS and Windows, a search engine (Google), web browsers like Chrome and Safari, belonging to US firms Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and Chinese company ByteDance.

The list also names six intermediation services – Google Maps, Google Play, Google Shopping, Amazon Marketplace, App Store and Meta Marketplace. YouTube for video sharing and the ad services of Google, Amazon and Meta are included too.

Why This Matters

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) aims to profoundly change the business models of tech giants, who stand accused of edging out competition by abusing their dominant position.

It imposes a range of obligations and prohibitions that must be adhered to or face hefty fines of up to 10% of their global turnover, 20% for repeat offenses. This avoids lengthy legal procedures.

The European Commission will hold the power of oversight and sanctions. Commissioner Thierry Breton, who spearheaded the legislation with Margrethe Vestager, stresses they “will not hesitate to take strong action”.

Their goal is to intervene before harmful behavior destroys competition, leading to quasi-monopolies like Google in search.

Immediate Impact

Some rules apply right away. Platforms must inform the Commission of any acquisition, no matter the size. Google can’t favor its own services in search results. Amazon can’t use seller data to then compete against them. Apple must allow other app stores on iPhones and iPads besides their App Store.

Given the massive interests involved, a new battleground between the EU and Big Tech has emerged, with complex legal fights ahead. The gatekeeper list will be regularly reviewed as markets evolve. Microsoft’s Edge browser, Bing search engine and Microsoft Advertising are under further review for possible later inclusion. So are Apple’s iMessage and iPadOS.

Microsoft welcomed the decision to currently exempt its three services meeting gatekeeper criteria. A spokesperson said, “We appreciate the Commission’s decision to open a market investigation into our request for an exemption for Bing, Edge and Microsoft Ads – which operate as challengers in the market.”

What Happens Next?

Over the coming months, further obligations take effect. Gatekeepers must allow users to easily unsubscribe from core platform services. They’re banned from ranking their own products above competitors’ on platforms. Messaging services need to open up and interoperate with smaller rivals. Rules also cover data portability and access.

Fines for non-compliance start at 1% of annual turnover, 5% for repeat breaches. National regulators help enforce rules. Germany’s Federal Cartel Office welcomed the DMA coming into force, having played a key role in the legislative process.

Competitors like Spotify have already filed complaints under the new rules, claiming Apple still unfairly restricts rivals on its devices. Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney said the DMA was a critical step towards “ending platform abuse”.

This landmark legislation demonstrates the EU’s commitment to curbing the dominance of Big Tech and reshaping digital markets. While tech giants will resist elements affecting their business models, regulators possess extensive oversight powers to force change. The coming legal challenges will define how far these rules can reach in practice.

Key Takeaways

  • New EU Digital Markets Act targets 6 major tech companies
  • Aims to curb anti-competitive behavior and monopolistic dominance
  • 22 core platform services designated as ‘gatekeepers’ with immediate obligations
  • Fines up to 10% of global turnover for breaching rules
  • Rules will profoundly impact tech giants’ business models
  • Oversight powers given to EU regulators to enforce change
  • Legal challenges ahead as tech firms resist new constraints

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Digital Markets Act?

The DMA is landmark EU legislation designed to regulate major technology companies and create fairer digital marketplaces by curbing anti-competitive practices.

When does the DMA take effect?

The legislation entered into force on November 1, 2022. Some obligations apply immediately, with further rules phased in over the next few months.

Which companies are affected?

The rules target 6 firms – Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok’s ByteDance. 22 of their core services are designated as gatekeepers.

How will tech giants be impacted?

They face constraints on using data, self-preferencing, pre-installing own apps, and allowing interoperability. Fines for non-compliance start at 1% of global annual turnover.

Who will enforce the new rules?

The European Commission has central oversight powers, with cooperation from national regulators. Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is playing a lead enforcement role.

Rethinking Climate Skepticism on Social Media

The summer of 2023 brought record-breaking heatwaves across the globe. However, skepticism around climate change has simultaneously gained traction on social media. Are climate skeptics truly flooding online platforms, or is this perception overblown? Let’s examine the evidence.

The Rising Tide of Harassment

Climate scientists find themselves in the crosshairs of coordinated attacks. Dr. Valérie Masson-Delmotte, an ex-IPCC chair, has faced heightened abuse over her decades-long career.

In the past year alone, the share of harassing messages intended to discredit her work has spiked. She now preemptively blocks accounts engaging in this behavior, though it pains her commitment to open discourse.

Her colleagues face similar vitriol. Prominent climatologist Dr. Christophe Cassou temporarily deleted his Twitter account due to unrelenting harassment. A sweeping study analyzing thousands of environmentalist Twitter accounts uncovered a concerning trend – over half had gone inactive, likely due to an emerging wave of climate deniers.

The Expanding Reach of Disinformation

Per the CNRS, the skeptical community wields rapidly growing influence, now accounting for nearly one-third of all climate-related Twitter accounts. While once fringe, these increasingly hostile voices have secured immense reach. Their messaging permeates online ecosystems, seeding doubt and discord.

Though disheartening, scientists remain resolute. They will continue disseminating rigorous, evidence-based insights, empowering citizens with facts amidst this “post-truth” era of mis- and disinformation. The road ahead may be long, but knowledge shall prevail.

Frequently Asked Questions

What triggered the surge in online climate skepticism?

Multiple forces likely contributed, from partisan polarization to disinformation campaigns. But the exact causes remain unclear.

How can the public identify misinformation sources?

Check authors’ credentials thoroughly. Seek out respected scientific institutions for reliable data. And remember – no single study or fringe expert outweighs an overwhelming scientific consensus.

What communication strategies might improve public discourse?

Emphasizing shared values, not just facts, can make messaging more relatable. Social media platforms must also improve moderation policies. Overall, open and compassionate dialogue on all sides will be critical.

Key Takeaways

  • Climate scientists face increasing harassment and skepticism online. Over half of environmentalist accounts have been driven offline.
  • Organized climate denial accounts now represent up to one-third of climate-related tweets, expanding their reach.
  • Though disheartening, experts remain committed to evidence-based public communications now more than ever.

While climate misinformation spreads rapidly online, hope remains for rational, solutions-oriented discourse. With care and courage, we can build common ground. But it will require perseverance in trying times.

Foreign student in France, the guide to find a job!

As an international student, you can fully finance part of your studies and stay by working. The arrangements differ depending on whether you are a national of the European Union, the European Economic Area or another country.

From the legal point of view

You have decided to continue your studies in France, and you are looking for a job in France? Different possibilities are available to you depending on your country of origin and the documents in your possession.

If you are a citizen of the European Union (or Switzerland), you can study in France without having to present a residence permit. You can also freely work as a student in France.

If you have a long-stay student visa or a temporary residence card marked “student,” the law authorizes you to engage in a professional activity provided that it does not occupy more than 60% of your time or 964 hours maximum per year.

It is up to the employer to carry out the hiring procedures. A declaration must be sent to the prefecture at least two working days before taking up the post. It should include information such as:

  • the company name
  • information about you and the employer
  • a copy of your residence permit or your VLS-TS
  • the nature of the job you will be doing
  • the duration of your contract
  • the number of annual working hours
  • the effective date of the contract

This document may be sent by e-mail, registered mail or fax for some prefectures. Please note that the formalities will be carried out either at the prefecture of your residence if you have a long-stay visa; or at the prefecture that issued the card if you have a residence permit.

multipotIf you want to work more than 964 hours per year, you will need to apply for a temporary work permit. This exception is granted in the context of studies whose curriculum is at least equivalent to a master’s degree. Some courses that include a sequence of salaried work also allow you to occupy a student job abroad for more than 60% of your time. This is the case of the doctoral student who holds a post to preparing his thesis, of the student who is taking a sandwich course or of the beneficiary of a research grant.

Finally, if you are in possession of a temporary long-stay visa, you will need a temporary work permit to do a student job. The number of working hours is limited to a maximum of 482 hours for a study period of 6 months. Your application must be submitted to the territorial unit of the “Direccte” (Direction Régionale des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation, du Travail et de l’Emploi) of your domicile. It is necessary to complete your file with your visa or residence permit as well as a promise of employment or a work contract.

Students receive a gross salary based on the minimum wage. Certain sectors such as investment banks and consulting firms offer better remuneration, particularly for students in their final year of “specialization” who commit themselves for a period of 6 months to a year. High-tech companies also offer good opportunities for those who get a job there.

In large student cities like Paris, Reims or Lille, the average salary can vary between 350 and 900 € depending on the activity. It should be noted that babysitting is more expensive in Paris and that working in fashion or modeling allows you to earn more, especially during specific events like fashion week.

Part-time work

Student small job part-time contract is often more suitable for an international student in France. Indeed, this is a post intended to be occupied for a period of less than the legal duration authorized per week, which is 35 hours. It has the advantage of being more flexible for students, even though the positions available are often available in the evenings or on weekends.

Hotels, restaurants, and sales are among the sectors that recruit the most. Other student jobs such as babysitting, translation or language teaching are more easily accessible to foreigners.
To put all the chances on your side, do not hesitate to value your knowledge of several languages, your experience in other countries and your field of specialization.

Hope this will help you!