Saturday, January 23, 2021

TikTok changes privacy settings for younger users

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Finally, TikTok limits how other users can interact with videos created by teens 15 and under. These videos can no longer be downloaded or remixed by other users through the app Duo or point features.

The app also makes changes for older teens aged 16 and 17. For these accounts, TikTok will still allow their videos to be remixed with Duet and Stitch, but the feature’s default setting will be changed for friends only. Likewise, older teens can choose to make their videos available for download, but the setting will be off by default.

Taken together, the new settings could drastically change the way younger TikTok users interact with the app. They can also be unpopular, as longtime users are likely to be frustrated when new restrictions appear on their accounts overnight. On the TikTok side, the company says the changes “aim to impose higher default standards for user privacy and security” and aim to get younger people to think about privacy at an earlier age.

Unlike other platforms, a large portion of TikTok’s user base is under the age of 18. The New York Times reported Last year that a third of US app users could be under 14 (app guidelines allow users under 13 limited accounts who can’t post videos or comment). But privacy advocates have urged more review enforcement policies and practices towards children. And while the latest changes don’t address all of their concerns, they make it harder for young teens to interact with people they don’t already know.

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