TikTok has announced a number of changes aimed at improving privacy protections for children on its platform.
TikTok has come under widespread criticism for privacy and security violations. Not the least of those has been repeated violations of child privacy. The company’s ongoing security and privacy issues have prompted numerous companies and government agencies to restrict the app from company devices, as well as been a major factor in the US government attempting to ban the app.
While TikTok’s future remains in question, the company has finally taken definitive steps to protect children using its platform.
“Starting today, we’re changing the default privacy setting for all registered accounts ages 13-15 to private. With a private TikTok account, only someone who the user approves as a follower can view their videos. We want our younger users to be able to make informed choices about what and with whom they choose to share, which includes whether they want to open their account to public views. By engaging them early in their privacy journey, we can enable them to make more deliberate decisions about their online privacy.”
The company has included additional changes, such as restricting comments on videos created by younger users, modifying Duet and Stitch settings for these groups, restricting friend suggestions and more. In addition, the company also offers a TikTok for Younger Users, specifically for users in the US under 13 years of age.
TikTok’s announcement is a welcome improvement. It remains to be seen if it will do anything to help the company’s fight against its ban order.