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January 13, 2021TikTok announces a series of restrictions, valid in Europe as in the United States, for users under 16. As a direct consequence of the new policy, all users between 13 and 15 years old will have private profiles and "only approved followers will have the possibility to see the contents of users under the age of 16 ".
From now on the chat removes the 'everyone' option to those who can comment on the videos and younger users have to choose between 'friends' or 'nobody'.
Changes also to the 'duet' settings and the 'stitch' function (to cut scenes and insert them into your videos) "in order to make them available only for content created by users aged 16 or over", while for users among 16 and 17, the default is now 'friends'.
Among other restrictions, "the ability to download only videos created by users over the age of 16. Other users can decide whether to allow their videos to be downloaded. While, for those between 16 and 17, the setting is of disabled by default, but may decide to enable it ".
finally, the setting of the option 'suggest your account to others' is automatically activated to 'off' for users aged between 13 and 15 years.
In the infographic, the company summarizes the settings:
Investigations in Italy and the United States
Just a few days ago, on December 22, the Italian Privacy Authority had opened
an investigation into the protection of children's data
"The default setting of the profile of minors as 'public' is one of the violations contested by the Privacy Guarantor to TikTok in the proceeding started in recent weeks", underlines the press officer of the Authority.
Even in the United States federal regulators have mandated TikTok to disclose how they affect children and teens, and starting Wednesday, it also changes for American users, where the platform is hugely popular with Generation Z kids and teens, the default privacy for accounts with users aged 13 to 15 will be private.
Last month, the US Federal Trade Commission asked Chinese company ByteDance, owner of TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and other social media companies for detailed information on how they collect and use consumers' personal data and how their practices affect children and teenagers.
TikTok, like many other social networks, asks users to enter their date of birth when they sign up for the service, but, as with other platforms, there is no real authenticity check.