TikTok comes with a timer for minors, the app will be locked after an hour the privacy and the Chinese influence on TikTok.

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TikTok introduces a special timer for minors, which locks the app if they spend more than an hour a day scrolling through the videos on the platform. They can only continue viewing if they enter a password. The measure will take effect in the coming weeks.

With the timer, the company responds to criticism that the app is too addictive for young people. Users under 18 have to “actively decide” to keep watching through the timer, TikTok says, which would help them keep their usage in check.

It is not the first measure that TikTok is taking to limit screen time. Earlier, the app already introduced a warning that alerts users in the meantime that they spend a lot of time on TikTok.

100 minutes

Young people can decide not to use the 60-minute timer, but in that case they will still receive a request to set a timer when they watch videos on TikTok for 100 minutes a day. Minors also receive weekly overviews of their TikTok use.

Parents or guardians who monitor their children’s app use through a linked profile will soon be able to set a timer themselves. They also get insight into the time their children spend on TikTok.

Sense of responsibility

The Consumers’ Association was previously critical of TikTok. Collected data is used for targeted advertisements and it is unclear whether that data is deleted when a profile is canceled, the organization warned at the time.

A spokesperson for the Consumers’ Association told the ANP news agency that he thinks the timer is good, although he wonders whether children have a sufficient sense of responsibility to moderate their screen time. He believes that parents have an important role to play in this.

Distrust in the West

The video platform comes with the timer at a time when major concerns are being expressed in many countries in the West about the safety of children on the app, privacy and the Chinese influence on TikTok. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is originally Chinese, which, among other things, fuels fears that China has access to European user data.

Distrust of the app has led to more and more officials at EU bodies no longer being allowed to have TikTok on their work devices. The app is also banned on government phones and devices in Canada and the US, among others. In the Netherlands, a majority in the House of Representatives believes that civil servants should no longer have the app on their work phones.

  • Canadian government bans TikTok on civil servants’ work phones
  • TikTok ban European officials further intensify debate about the app
  • The Chamber wants to ban TikTok on the work phones of government officials
  • Tech

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