by Aruna Sharma, Global Head of Privacy and Caroline Goulding, Data Protection Officer
Today marks the 16th Data Protection Day, providing us all with the opportunity to learn more about the privacy rights each of us holds as individuals, and the collective responsibility that companies like ours have in protecting and championing those rights.
At TikTok Data Protection Day is the start of a month-long programme of activities for employees to promote and support the crucial role that privacy plays in our day-to-day work. This includes executive leadership videos, expert panel discussions with external speakers, and providing our employees with easy-to-digest tips to help them keep privacy front and centre in everything they do.
Educating our Community
We know that people are the most creative on TikTok when they feel safe and secure on our platform, and a big part of that is our community feeling they can trust us with their information.
That's why we use our safety centre and in-app videos on @TikTokTips to help our community understand how we keep their data safe, as well as the privacy options available to them, like making their account private, or turning off Stitch and Duet, so they can create the TikTok experience that they are most comfortable with.
As part of our efforts to ensure the TikTok community understand how TikTok uses their information and how they can control their privacy settings, we've created a new series of Privacy Highlights videos. These videos set out our privacy practices for our community in Europe, the UK and Switzerland. The videos will be available in-app in February and will explain the data we collect, how we use it, and what controls our community has over their data.
Privacy at TikTok
Privacy is built into TikTok by design so that our community can confidently discover, create, and enjoy entertaining content.
By placing privacy at the heart of how we build our platform, we empower people with meaningful choices over the information they choose to share on our app, and we protect that information with world-class security practices.
Our community has access to a wide-range of privacy settings, for example:
- Choosing whether their account is private or public
- Choosing how we suggest their account to others
- Setting limits on who can interact with their videos, through features like Stitch and Duet, or who can comment on their videos.
- Changing who can tag and mention you in a post, all the way from 'Everyone' to 'No One'
Privacy is a never-ending journey
Our work on privacy is certainly not confined to a single day or month - it's core to what we do every day. That's why we're constantly adding new options to how people can manage their TikTok experience and new features to improve transparency. In the last year alone, we have:
- Made an industry leading change to accounts for under 16s private by default, meaning any new or existing account on TikTok was automatically set to private.
- Launched Transparency and Accountability Centres. These provide an opportunity for third-parties, experts and stakeholders around the world to examine our moderation policies, understand how our algorithm works, see how we moderate content on a daily basis and understand how our privacy and security practices work. We currently have Transparency and Accountability Centres in Europe and the United States.
- Rolled out protective measures for our younger users including changing default DM settings for 16 and 17 year olds to ‘No One’, limiting push notifications and proactively asking younger users to set privacy settings when they upload their videos.
- Updated our privacy policies to make it easier for users to understand the information we collect and how we use it.
Privacy is a priority all year round at TikTok, and we look forward to using this month to celebrate the importance of data protection, and ensure that we're living up to the high standards our community rightly expects.