Updates to ads for teens and improved data control and transparency tools

June 28, 2023

At TikTok, we strive to build a fun and inclusive environment where people feel free to create, find community, and be entertained. One of the ways we do this is by prioritizing the privacy and safety of the TikTok community. We build privacy into TikTok by design, and give our community a range of controls to manage their online presence to decide the TikTok experience that’s right for them. We're also committed to being transparent with people, including the youngest members of the TikTok community, about how we collect, use and share their data.

As part of this ongoing work, we're announcing updates intended to limit how certain types of data are used to show teens ads. We're also announcing features designed to provide people with additional transparency and control over their data.

Privacy protective changes to ads

At TikTok, we take special care when crafting the experiences teens have on the platform, including the ads they see. Currently, some teens may be shown ads based on their activities on TikTok, such as the accounts they follow, the videos they like, and their profile information. They are also shown ads based on their activity off TikTok. For example, a pet store might want to advertise a sale on dog toys to people interested in dogs; we might show this ad to users who liked a lot of videos tagged with the hashtag “dogs.” Or an outdoor activity store wants to advertise tents to followers of creators who post content about outdoor activities and nature. We will show this ad to followers of those types of creators.

Starting today, we're restricting the types of data that can be used to show ads to teens by region. This means that people in the United States aged 13 to 15 will no longer see personalized ads on TikTok based on their activities off TikTok. From Tuesday July 11, people in the European Economic Area, United Kingdom, and Switzerland aged 13 to 17 will no longer see personalized ads on TikTok based on their activities on or off TikTok. 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.

Additional transparency and control over data

We're also announcing a number of features intended to increase transparency and offer businesses and people more control over their data, including:

  • Clear activity - We're introducing a "Clear my activity" feature that enables people on TikTok to clear their activity details that advertising partners and businesses have shared with TikTok. Activity details could include, for example, interactions with advertising partners apps or websites that may have been used to show them ads.

  • Content transparency - We are refining our approach to how content which promotes brands, products or services is labelled by using labels such as "ad/sponsored" (paid for by advertisers), or "paid partnership" (which might be based on commission, partnership with a brand) or a new "promotional content" label (that indicates commercial content to promote your own business).

  • Limited Data Use - In order to help facilitate advertiser's compliance with the right to opt-out of sale and sharing of personal data under certain U.S. state privacy laws, we're launching a Limited Data Use ("LDU") feature. LDU for the Pixel and Events API helps give 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.

We're continually working on ways to further protect the younger members of the TikTok community as well as build tools and features designed to give people more control over their TikTok experience.