TikTok has announced that it will introduce automatic daily screen time limits for under-18 accounts in response to criticism over its addictive nature among young users. The new feature will restrict teenagers to one hour of screen time, after which they will need to enter a passcode to continue watching. For those under 13, a parent or guardian will need to set or enter a passcode to release an additional 30 minutes. The changes will be implemented in the coming weeks, and parents can set a maximum screen time based on the day of the week for children who access TikTok through a family pairing account.
The Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, has a daily limit of 40 minutes for under-14s, and is inaccessible for them between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. TikTok has previously introduced measures such as prompts encouraging screen time management and weekly inbox notifications summarizing a user’s screen time to control young people’s use of the app.
ByteDance’s ownership of the social media app TikTok has raised concerns about data protection in the West, leading to action from various institutions. Most recently, the European Union has ordered its staff to remove the app from their devices due to concerns over data privacy. Recently, the White House has directed US federal agencies to remove TikTok from government-issued devices within 30 days. This move comes as the US government continues to scrutinize the Chinese-owned social media app’s data security and privacy practices. The Biden administration’s executive order highlights concerns that the app could pose a risk to national security, given its access to sensitive government data.
In response, TikTok has stated that it has implemented strict security measures and data privacy policies, and that it continues to work with US authorities to address any concerns. Canada has also implemented a similar measure, with the country’s Prime Minister directing federal departments and agencies to remove TikTok from their mobile devices.