How TikTok will enhance privacy for minors

How TikTok will enhance privacy for minors

From comments to duet contents, new restrictions coming to TikTok: the accounts of underage users become "private"

TikTok is making changes to its app to make the experience safer for younger users.

Starting today, all TikTok profiles owned by users between the ages of 13 and 15 become private by default. This was announced by the company itself, as part of a series of restrictions aimed at this age group.

As a direct consequence of the new rule, explains TikTok, "only approved followers will be able to see the content of users under 16".

Just last month, the Italian Privacy Guarantor opened a TikTok children's privacy investigation. For the Authority for the protection of personal data, the video sharing app violates the privacy, especially of minors. The social media owned by the Chinese ByteDance is used mainly among the youngest to create and share short videos.

Not to mention that in 2019 the US Federal Trade Commission fined the app $ 5.7 million for violating US children's privacy laws.

All the details on the new restrictions of TikTok.


Regarding the other limitations for users under 16, the chat removes the "Everyone" option to those who can comment on their videos. From now on, younger users have to choose between "Friends" or "None".


There are also changes to the settings of the Duets and the Stitch function (with which you can cut scenes and insert them into your videos) “in order to make them available only for content created by users aged 16 or over. For users aged 16-17, the default setting of these features is now on 'Friends'.


Furthermore, explains TikTok, there is “the possibility to download only the videos created by users over 16 years old. Other users can decide whether to allow their videos to be downloaded. While, for those between 16 and 17, the setting is deactivated by default, but they can decide to activate it ”.

Finally, the setting of the option “Suggest your account to others” is automatically activated on “Off” for users aged between 13 and 15 years.


"The news builds on further changes previously made to promote child safety, including the restriction of direct messaging and direct streaming for accounts of minors under 16 – explains Alexandra Evans, Head of Child Safety at Tik Tok Europe – We know there is no final milestone when it comes to child safety, which is why we are constantly striving to improve our policies, investing in technology and our moderation teams, so that TikTok remains a safe place. ".

"The privacy rights and online safety of our community are a top priority for TikTok and, in particular, when it comes to our younger users, which is why we are making these significant changes – adds Elaine Fox, Head of Privacy, EMEA by TikTok – We want to encourage the younger segment of our community to actively engage in their online privacy journey and, by doing so right away, we hope to inspire them to take an active role and make informed decisions on the issue. "


Of course, any of these restrictions can be bypassed for those who lie about their age at signup, as TechCrunch points out.

In the case of TikTok, the app has a large underage user base. Some estimates have claimed that 41% of TikTok are between the ages of 16 and 24. But in the US, TikTok has attracted a particularly large teen user base. The company said in 2020 that 60% of its 26.5 million monthly active users in the United States were between the ages of 16 and 24.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Wed, 13 Jan 2021 14:37:48 +0000.