A month after federal regulators ordered it to disclose how its practices affect children and teenagers, TikTok is tightening its privacy practices for those under the age of 18.
Starting Wednesday, the default privacy setting for accounts with users aged 13-15 will be private. This means that only someone the user approves as a follower can view their videos, which they didn’t before. But teenagers can still change that attitude publicly if they want.
Older teenagers will not see this change from the default. For users aged 16 or 17, the default setting that allows users to download the videos they have created is now Off rather than On.
TikTok also blocks users from downloading videos made by anyone under the age of 15. In this age group, direct messaging is also restricted and live streams cannot be hosted.
TikTok is very popular with teenagers and younger children. A feature called TikTok for younger users offers pre-selected, “age-appropriate” videos. The feature was added after TikTok’s predecessor, Musica.ly, settled FTC allegations that it illegally collected personal information from children. A payment of $ 5.7 million (approximately Rs. 41.7 crores) was also agreed.
A tool called “Family Pairing” allows parents to link their TikTok account to their teen’s to enable content and privacy settings.
Last month, the Federal Trade Commission asked TikTok’s parent company, along with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and five other social media companies, to provide detailed information on how they collect and use personal information from consumers and how their practices affect children and affect young people.
TikTok users are asked to provide their birthday when they sign up for the service. However, as with other social media platforms, there is no real check to make sure it is correct.
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