TikTok, the Chinese social network as famous as it is controversial, will introduce a new type of control for verifying the identity of its users. The goal is to identify how many of the Italian users logged into the platform are under 13 years of age. The introduction of this novelty follows the requests from the Guarantor for the protection of personal data following the news events that have seen some minors unpleasantly involved.
The innovations introduced by the social network were reported in a reply note to the Privacy Guarantor. How does TikTok intend to verify the identity of minors who can access the platform?
Initiatives for the identity check of minors
The methods developed by the platform are quite varied and from some points of view may be insufficient. First of all, starting from January 25th, a new feature has appeared on the platform that allows users to report the profiles of those who appear to be under 13 years old.
Starting Thursday 4th February, TikTok will launch an information campaign that is easier for users to understand. In particular, all users of the platform will receive a notification that will inform them of the minimum requirements to be met to keep their account active. TikTok's strategy is also to show these announcements also on additional communication channels in order to raise awareness as many users as possible.
“The company will send push notifications to users before blocking them, and will notify them of the age entry requirement. Banners will also be published to provide links with information on security tools and on how to change profile settings from "public" to "private " "
Only from 9 February will we see the actual strategy put in place. In fact, the check developed by TikTok to verify the identity of any minors will consist in a block of all users that will be unlocked only after confirmation of their year of birth. If the age is less than 13, the profile will be completely blocked. As you might think, the control is easy to avoid since it will be enough to lie about the year of birth to be able to continue using TikTok freely.
The use of artificial intelligence
Among the further proposals reported in black and white on the note sent to the Privacy Guarantor, there is one concerning the use of artificial intelligence. In particular, the following reasons are read in the note:
" Since the identification of such 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 established its main plant – a discussion on the use of artificial intelligence for age verification purposes .
It therefore seems that the way to ensure greater safety for users is not only to rely on the common sense of users but also to ask for help from technology. As from the words of These are the words of Alexandra Evans, head of Child Safety at TikTok:
“When it comes to protecting our users, especially younger ones, there is no final goal and, as a result, 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 . "
The article TikTok the innovations introduced for the identity check of minors comes from Tech CuE .