What Parents Need to Know About TikTok’s Latest Privacy Controls

Illustration for article titled What Parents Need to Know About TikToks Latest Privacy Controls

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TikTok announced today that it is adding a few new privacy safeguards for users under the age of 18, including enhanced default privacy settings, tighter restrictions on who can comment on videos, and which videos can be downloaded.

According to the popular platform’s website, the changes are “aimed at driving higher default standards for user privacy and safety.” Those changes include:

  • A new default privacy setting for users ages 13-15. With a private account, the user must approve followers before those users can view their videos. The setting to “suggest your account to others” is also being turned off by default for these users.
  • Tighter restrictions for who can comment on videos created by users ages 13-15. They can now choose to allow “Friends” or “No One” to comment; the option for “Everyone” to comment is being removed.
  • Restrictions for which users have access to Duet (a video collaboration feature) and Stitch (a video remixing tool). The features will now be available only for users ages 16 and older. And for users age 16-17, the default setting for who can use their videos within these tools will now be “Friends.”
  • Limiting which videos can be downloaded. Now, only videos created by users age 16 and older can be downloaded. For users age 16-17, the default setting for allowing their videos to downloaded will be turned to “Off,” unless they choose to allow it.

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Most of these changes are merely “default,” which means they can still be manually changed to make a user’s account more publicly accessible. But parents can use the opportunity to talk with their teens about the importance of being deliberate about protecting their privacy.

In addition, parents can still use the “Family Pairing” tool that was released last year to link their account with their child’s account and monitor their restrictions remotely.

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