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TikTok with new safety features for its young users

TikTok, the video sharing application said that the accounts of the users under the age on 16, will now be private by default.

TikTok said this change is a part of their efforts to make the application safe for their young users.

As per the latest change, people approved by the user (under 16) can view their videos. Along with this there are restrictions to comment of the video also. Users aged between 13 and 15 and will now only offer two options – either friends or no – for comments.

TikTok said that in future it will be changing collaborative creative tools such as Duet and Stitch so that the wider TikTok community will no longer be able to see those features used by people under 16, while the ability to download videos created by users under 16 is also being removed.

The application has become popular amongst mobile users in the recent years, because of its high demand and less security features the app was under a lot of pressure.

The new updates also come prior to the anticipated introduction of Online Harms legislation, which is expected to be brought before Parliament this year, and will place greater emphasis on social media firms to comply with a duty of care to their users.

“The privacy rights and online safety of our community is a top priority for TikTok, and we place a particular emphasis on the privacy and safety of our younger users, which is why we’re making these significant changes.” Elaine Fox, head of privacy in Europe for TikTok, said.

Elaine Fox also added that they want to encourage their younger users to actively engage in their online privacy journey, and by doing so early the company hope to inspire them to take an active role and make informed decisions about their online privacy.

“This is a bold package of measures by TikTok and a hugely welcome step that will reduce opportunities for groomers to contact children.” Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy at the NSPCC, said.

“It comes as abusers are taking advantage of the pandemic to target children spending more time online and we urge other platforms to be similarly proactive rather than wait for regulation to come into effect.” they added.

They also mentioned that the full benefits of these changes will be felt when age assurance measures are put in place in September when the Age Appropriate Design Code comes into force.

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