TikTok boosts the privacy of its youngest users’ accounts
TikTok, the world’s most-used application (850 million new downloads in 2020), has decided to tighten the default privacy settings for its users aged 13 to 15. From now on, only friends added will be able to see their videos. In addition, the accounts of young users will no longer appear in the suggestions of others.
There are also a certain number of changes in terms of interaction. If users younger than 16 make their account "public", only their friends will be able to see their videos. Young users can also totally switch off responses.
Also, the popular interactive functions, Duet and Stitch – with which you can respond to videos produced by others – can no longer be accessed by users under the age of 16. For TikTok users aged 16 and 17, these functions are now governed by default in "Friends".
Not the first restrictions
In the past, TikTok has previously implemented measures aimed at improving the safety of underage users, such as the restriction on instant messages and live flows for users under the age of 16.
Parental control options were also added last year, including the ability for parents to set limits on posting times and to block inappropriate content.
None of these changes were unexpected and represent a significant change compared with the way the predecessor of TikTok, Musical.ly, managed children’s accounts. In 2019, the US regulator FTC levied a fine of 5.7 million dollars against Musical.ly for breaching the privacy of children aged under 13.
Subsequently, the app introduced restrictions for young children. Users under the age of 16 can no longer watch certain videos and cannot upload videos.
One drawback remains: officially, TikTok is only allowed to be used by children aged 13 and over, but the app does not really check to see whether the age entered by users is correct.
Together, we can make the Internet safer for youngsters. Find out more here.