TikTok strengthens privacy safeguards for teenagers
As social media companies face greater criticism over their privacy measures, TikTok became the latest tech company to propose stricter protections for teens on Thursday.
In the next months, TikTok will introduce a number of new features, including a default limit on in-app messaging for 16 and 17-year-olds unless it is changed.
Anybody under the age of 16 will see a pop-up notification, when they publish their first video, asking them to pick who can see it.
Users aged 16 and 17 will see a pop-up asking them to confirm who has permission to download their movies. On content posted by minors, downloads are already disabled.
With the goal of decreasing their screen time at night, the Chinese-owned platform will stop sending push notifications to users aged 13 to 16 at 9 p.m., and an hour later for 16 to 17-year-olds.
The actions outlined by Alexandra Evans, head of child safety public policy, and Aruna Sharma, global head of privacy, build on prior efforts to safeguard children from predators, bullies, and other online risks.
According to Evans and Sharma, “It’s important to ensure even stronger proactive protections to help keep teens safe, and we’ve continually introduced changes to support age-appropriate experiences on our platform.”
“We want to help our younger teens, in particular, develop positive digital habits early on.”
Google, YouTube, and Facebook-Instagram have all recently strengthened defenses for teen users, while critics have been urging Facebook to abandon plans for a children’s version of Instagram.
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