TikTok Tightens Privacy Rules for Youngest Users

The popular social media app has made all accounts of 13-15-year-olds private by default in a bid to safeguard its youngest users.

This latest change to its privacy policy gives TikTok’s young users more control over their content. This includes:

  • Only users they accept as friends are able to comment on their videos
  • Their content cannot be downloaded
  • The ‘suggest your account to other users’ feature is disabled
  • No one can ‘duet’ or ‘stitch’ with their content

Some tighter safeguarding rules have also been placed on the app’s 16-17-year-old users: the ‘duet’ and ‘stitch’ features are set to ‘friends’ and the download setting on their content is disabled. However, users can enable this setting if they choose to.

In a statement published on its site, TikTok said: “As young people start their digital journey, we believe it's important to provide them with age-appropriate privacy settings and controls. Today [13th Jan] we're announcing changes for users under age 18 aimed at driving higher default standards for user privacy and safety.”

The move comes in the wake of criticism from the BBC that the online platform could be facilitating online grooming. The app is also facing legal challenges from a 12-year-old girl for “loss of control of personal data”.

This is not the first set of changes the site has made to its platform. Last year, it disabled the direct messaging and live stream functions on accounts for users under 16-years-old.

As per TikTok’s terms and conditions, users must be 13 years old or older to use the app.

During the pandemic, the app’s popularity has rocketed and is now estimated to have over one billion monthly users. The app boasts 2.6 billion downloads worldwide with over 3.7 million active users in the UK alone.

You can download our FREE TikTok guide here or access it via our brand-new app.

Have you thought about joining National Online Safety?

Sign up with us today and get instant access to hundreds of FREE guides on the latest apps, games, devices, and online safety.

If you’re a school, joining our certified membership will give you unlimited access to our comprehensive range of webinars, courses, and explainer videos, all of which are designed by leading authorities in the education sector.

You can also download our brand-new app which provides you will access to our award-winning online safety resources anytime, anywhere – right at your fingertips.

Become a member today and empower your whole-school community with the latest online safety education, training, and updates to help keep children safe online.

Choose your membership
Still Have Questions?

Interested in becoming a member? Contact us today to find out more.

An Online Safety Advisor will be in touch within 24 hours