TikTok will take measures to block access to users under the age of 13 and will evaluate the use of artificial intelligence systems for age verification. In addition, it will launch an information campaign to raise awareness among parents and children. This is what the video sharing platform communicated to the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, after the blocking measure imposed in recent days by the Authority. The Authority – writes the Guarantor in a note – is, in any case, reserved to verify the effective effectiveness of the measures announced.
Starting from 9 February, then, implementing the requests of the Guarantor, TikTok will block all Italian users and will ask to indicate the date of birth again before continuing to use the app. Once a user under 13 is identified, their account will be removed. In order to identify users under 13 with reasonable certainty, after this first verification, the company has undertaken to further evaluate the use of artificial intelligence systems. Since the identification of these solutions requires a balance between the need for accurate verifications and the right to data protection of minors, the company has undertaken to start with the Privacy Authority of Ireland – the country in which the platform has set the own main establishment – a discussion on using artificial intelligence to verify the age of members. Following the intervention of the Guarantor, from 25 January TikTok has anticipated the introduction directly in the app of a button that allows users to quickly and easily report other users who appear to be under 13 years old. All this will be in addition to the current existing measures. TikTok has also committed to double the number of Italian-language moderators of the content on the platform.
“The safety of the people who are part of the TikTok community is our top priority. We have reached an agreement with the Guarantor, the Italian data protection authority, and today we are taking further measures to support our community in Italy. A Starting February 9, we will re-pass every user in Italy through our age verification process and only users aged 13 and over will be able to continue using the app after going through this process. We also have introduced a new dedicated report button within the app, to allow users to report an account they believe may belong to a user under the age of 13. Our team will review and remove these accounts, ”commented Alexandra Evans , Head of Child Safety, TikTok – Europe. “When it comes to protecting our users, especially younger ones, there is no final goal and, consequently, a, our work in this area will not stop. That’s why we continue to invest in the people, processes and technologies that help keep our community a safe space for positive and creative expression. ”