TikTok Introduces New Data Control Feature for Users

TikTok is updating how it handles user data to meet new European rules. The app now lets users decide how their information is shared with other services. This change is part of TikTok's move to follow the Digital Markets Act coming into effect this week. The app has added a feature called the Data Portability API. This tool lets users move their data, like profile details, posts, who they follow, their activity, and messages, to other apps if they want.

This data sharing option is right now only for people in the European Economic Area (EEA). TikTok plans to make it available to more users later. The Data Portability API is open to developers worldwide, but they have to prove they need it and that they will use it safely. They also need to show they can tell which users are in the EEA.

TikTok explains that this new feature will let developers get permission from TikTok users to move their data. Users in the EEA can choose to transfer some or all their data, either once or regularly. This makes it easier for users to control their information.

There's a legal side to this change. The Digital Markets Act calls for big online platforms to let users move their data freely, but TikTok doesn't agree with being labeled as a "gatekeeper" under this law. The company is challenging this label but is still making changes to follow the law while the challenge is ongoing.

This update is important because if TikTok doesn't follow the new European law, it could face serious consequences. It could be fined or even blocked in Europe, where it has 134 million users. This would be bad for the app and for businesses that advertise to European users on TikTok.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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