TikTok Adds Transparency Tools, Updates Data Ad-Targeting Restrictions For Teens

To give teen users greater control over what ads they see on the platform, TikTok is introducing new transparency tools, while restricting the types of data that can be used to show ads to teens by region.

The ByteDance-owned company said it is focused on “being transparent with people, including the youngest members of the TikTok community, about how we collect, use and share their data.”

Which is why it will now restrict personalized ads based on teens’ activities on the platform -- “the accounts they follow, the videos they like, and their profile information” and off the platform. For example, when an outdoor activity store wants to advertise tents to followers of creators who post content about outdoor activities, TikTok shows this ad to followers of those types of creators.

Ad restrictions of this type will be based on region. People in the United States between 13 and 15 years of age will no longer see these ad types, while users between 13 and 17 will no longer see them in the European Economic Area, United Kingdom, and Switzerland.

“We're continuing to work toward providing all people on TikTok with transparency and controls so they can choose the experience that's right for them,” the company said.

In addition to these new targeting restrictions, TikTok is introducing new transparency and data control features.

Users will now be able to select “Clear my activity” to erase their activity details -- like interactions with ad partner apps or websites -- that ad partners and businesses have shared with TikTok.

TikTok is also “refining” its approach to designating promotional content with new labels like “ad/sponsored” for content paid for by advertisers, “paid partnership” for commissioned or brand-partnered content, or “promotional content” which indicates commercial content to promote a user's personal business.

Finally, the social media platform is launching a Limited Data Use (“LDU”) feature for Pixel and Events API that helps provide businesses more control over how their event data is used in TikTok's systems. The feature will be available in California, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah, the company stated.

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