At TikTok, we know that creativity and expression are personal. And so is privacy. That’s why we empower our community with a range of controls to manage their online presence. As young people start their digital journey, we believe it’s important to provide them with age-appropriate privacy settings and controls. Today we’re announcing changes for users under age 18 aimed at driving higher default standards for user privacy and safety.
Enhanced default privacy settings
Starting today, we’re changing the default TikTok privacy setting for all registered accounts under the age of 16 to private. With a private TikTok account, only someone who the user approves as a follower can view their videos. 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. By engaging them early in their privacy journey, we can enable them to make more deliberate decisions about their online privacy.
Additional changes we’re rolling out to promote a safe experience for our younger users include:
- Tightening the options for commenting on videos created by those under age 16. These users can now choose between Friends or No One for their account; the Everyone comment setting is being removed.
- Changing Duet and Stitch settings so the broader TikTok community won’t be able to use those features with content created by people under 16, though anyone can Duet and Stitch with eligible content from users over 16. For users aged 16-17, the default setting for these features will now be set to Friends.
- Allowing downloads of videos that have been created by users 16 and over only. Other users can decide whether they want to allow downloads of their videos, though for users aged 16-17 the default setting will now be changed to Off unless they decide to enable it.
- Setting “Suggest your account to others” to Off by default for users under 16.
Adjusting TikTok’s default account settings to support stronger user privacy is a meaningful step in our ongoing commitment to keeping our younger users safe. These changes build on previous updates we’ve made to promote youth safety, including:
- Restricting direct messaging and hosting live streams to accounts 16 and over.
- Restricting the buying, sending, and receiving of virtual gifts to users 18 and over.
- Enabling parents and caregivers to set guardrails on their teen’s TikTok experience through our Family Pairing features.
A pioneering approach to privacy
There’s nothing more important than the safety and privacy of our community.
In 2020, we established our European data privacy and data protection teams in Dublin to ensure that we are meeting the needs and expectations of our users in these areas. We’ve also set out a plan to establish a local data centre in Ireland that will be the home of European user data when operational in 2022.
We know there is no finish line when it comes to protecting users and their privacy, and our investment in this important area won’t stop here. We’ll continue to evolve our policies, work closely with regulators and experts in minor safety, and invest in our technology and teams so that TikTok remains a safe place for everyone to express their creativity.
Increasing data allowances on mobile devices to support disadvantaged children
This scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted.
Dunn Street Primary can request mobile data increases for children and young people who:
- do not have fixed broadband at home
- cannot afford additional data for their devices
- are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education
Children with access to a mobile phone on one of the following networks might be able to benefit:
- Virgin Mobile
- Tesco Mobile
- Sky Mobile
(Other networks may join the scheme later)
If you need to increase the data allowance on your phone please email: [email protected]
- account holder’s name
- mobile number (a number beginning with ‘07’)
- mobile network
- whether they pay monthly or pay as they go
- stating that you have read and understood the privacy statement
Those affected by the offer need to understand how we’ll use their personal information.
Please share the following privacy statement with:
- the adult account holder for the mobile device
- the parent or carer of the person benefiting from the offer, if they’re under 13
- the person benefiting from the offer, if they’re 13 or over
Please read the privacy statement below.
1. For the purposes of data protection, I need to let you know that the Department for Education (DfE) is running the Mobile Network Offer through schools and their trusts or local authorities.
2. If the offer is taken up by an adult account holder, the school or social care team will share the account holder’s name and mobile phone details with the DfE, who will share these with the relevant mobile network operator.
3. The mobile network operator will use that information to increase the data available for the account holder’s mobile device, as long as they qualify for the offer.
4. The adult account holder’s personal data is only shared with their mobile network operator for the purposes of the offer. No names of children or other adults, other than adult account holder, are shared with the DfE or the mobile network operator.
5. No personal information will be shared with the DfE if you do not want to take up the offer.
6. If you want to know more about how your personal information will be used before you take up the offer, we can send that to you first.
7. If you decide to take up the offer, you’ll get a text message from the Department for Education with more information about your data protection rights.
Link to GOV.co.uk privacy information.
If for any reason you cannot get a free mobile data increase from your provider please get in touch with the school and we can discuss next steps.