TikTok has unveiled an update to its policies regarding data used for ad targeting, as the platform seeks compliance with evolving EU privacy laws and broader industry trends.
The most notable change is for teen users, with TikTok opting to remove off-platform activity as a factor in its ad targeting for this demographic.
According to TikTok: "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 and 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."
This update will align TikTok with the upcoming EU Digital Services Act (DSA), which will limit the use of data to target young users. In the US, TikTok is also ceasing to use off-platform activity data, a further step towards reducing activity tracking and improving protections for teen users.
While these changes are necessary, they could affect your marketing strategies on TikTok, especially considering two-thirds of US teens use the app. The industry-wide alterations to data usage have already influenced tracking in numerous ways, and in this regard, TikTok’s update harmonizes with these evolving standards. However, the immediate impacts could potentially limit your marketing efforts.
TikTok is also introducing several updates to enhance transparency for all users.
Firstly, the platform is launching a 'Clear my activity' feature, enabling users to erase any details shared with TikTok by advertising partners and businesses. This step gives users more control over how their personal data is used and could also help avoid untargeted promotions.
Secondly, TikTok is adding content transparency labels for better clarification of brand partnerships. Lastly, a new 'Limited Data Use' feature is being added to comply with US state privacy laws, providing businesses more control over how their event data is used in TikTok’s systems. This feature will be available in California, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah.