TikTok overhauls privacy rules for younger users

TikTok has made a change to its privacy settings in order to safeguard its younger users, changing the default privacy setting for all registered accounts under the age of 16 to private.

The shift means that videos created by younger users can only be viewed by people who have been approved as a follower by the user.

“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,” said Elaine Fox, Head of Privacy, Europe at TikTok. “By engaging them early in their privacy journey, we can enable them to make more deliberate decisions about their online privacy.”

In addition to the privacy setting change, TikTok has removed the option of ‘Everyone’ being allowed to comment on videos created by people under the age of 16, leaving only the ‘Friends’ and ‘No One’ options. And there’s been a change to ‘Duet’ and ‘Stitch’, so that TikTokers above the age of 16 won’t be able to use those features with content created by younger users, though youngers users can still use the features with eligible content from those over 16. For users aged 16 to 17, the default setting for Duet and Stitch will be set to ‘Friends’.

Downloads are now only allowed on videos created by users who are 16 and over, though users aged 16 to 17 will have downloads set to ‘Off’ by default. Finally, the ‘Suggest your account to other’ setting is now ‘Off’ by default for users under 16.