TikTok must be assessed to see if the company meets the criteria needed to avail of the same One Stop Shop (OSS) data processing mechanism currently given to other tech giants such as Facebook, the Irish Data Protection Commission has said.
It comes as TikTok considers establishing a data centre in Ireland.
The OSS rules – introduced under the GDPR rules - mean companies can make the Irish Data Protection Commission the lead supervisory, if they meet the criteria, and would not have to deal with regulators in each of the 28 EU member states but could be monitored by a lead regulator in one state.
“If they don't meet the criteria, what happens is every single data protection authority across the EU is competent to regulate them.
"So if something happens in France, the French look after them. If something in Italy the Italians look after them, something here, we ourselves look after them.
"That's exactly where it's at right now, we're trying to examine it to try and see do they meet the criteria," said Graham Doyle, Deputy Commissioner with the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).
The benefits of this would be that if something happens, it would be one investigation, one decision and one appeal, rather than one for each country affected.
The popular short-video app plans to open its first European data centre in Ireland by 2022, following moves by other big tech companies in recent years.
Global Chief Information Security Officer of the company, Roland Cloutier, said in a blog post that the centre will enable faster loading time as well as safely store European user data.
“This investment in Ireland, to the value of approximately €420million, will create hundreds of new jobs and play a key role in further strengthening the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data with a state of the art physical and network security defense system planned around this new operation,” said Mr Cloutier.
The news comes amid controversy surrounding the company, as Donald Trump said last week he plans to ban TikTok from operating in the United States.