TikTok is upgrading the parental controls starting today by introducing a new feature that lets parents remotely set restrictions on their kids’ accounts. The company released a feature called Family Pairing that allows parents to link their kids’ accounts to thier own account to set certain limitations on their account remotely.
With this feature, parents will be able to disable direct messages, turn on restricted content mode, and set screen time limits on their kids’ accounts. This is a big step from TikTok to allow parents to control what their kids can do on TikTok. This step from the company is considered as the step to avoid any further violations of a children’s privacy law.
In February 2019, TikTok was fined for $5.7 million to the Federal Trade Commission over alleged violations of a children’s privacy law, in part for allowing users under 13 years old to sign up without parental consent. And now, with this update, TikTok has added these features like screen time limits to give users and parents more control over the app. TikTok has earlier shipped these same features in the name of “Family Safety Mode,” in Europe earlier this year.
However, with this update, TikTok made setting up this limitation for kids’ accounts easier than before. Earlier, parents need to set up these restrictions on the kid’s device. But now, parents can set up these restrictions remotely from their own device. The only need here is to link both of the accounts and they will have access to the Settings of their kids’ account.
Parents will still have to get their kids to agree to have their accounts linked under the new system. To set it up, parents need to scan a QR code inside the digital wellbeing section of their kid’s account. However, kids will also have an option to disable this feature any time, but as soon as they disable the feature, parents will get a notification regarding this. Also, they will have a chance to re-link both of the accounts in case of accidental disconnection.
Along with the new features, TikTok is also making another change today: it’s disabling direct messages for all users under 16. So, any user under the age of 16 will not be able to use direct users from now.
“While Direct Messaging can be an amazing way to make new friends and connections. User safety is paramount. Starting April 30, TikTok will be taking existing protections one step further as relates to younger members of our community, and automatically disabling Direct Messages for registered accounts under the age of 16,” TikTok said
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