If you have a TikTok account and you don’t like getting targeted ads, you soon may not have a choice. Starting April 15, the company’s personalized ads policy is changing. TikTok will soon make personalized ads mandatory, meaning you’ll start getting ads in the app based on the kind of content you engage with, whether you want them or not.

The change will effective from April 15

Currently, you can opt out of receiving personalized ads on TikTok. Those ads are based on your interests, as inferred by the things you watch and look up on the app itself. According to a notice TikTok users are starting to see on their feeds, however, it appears that this personalization will soon be mandatory.

The app currently has a setting that allows users to choose whether they’ll be served ads based on their activity within the app. Starting April 15, reads a notice shown when opening the app, your settings will change and the ads you’ll see may start to be based on what you do on TikTok.

TikTok’s ad targeting will get more aggressive.

According to this notice, you’ll no longer be able to opt out of personalized ads based on the data TikTok collects from your actions on the app, though you will be able to opt out of ads based on data TikTok gets from its “advertising partners.” The only exception here is users based in the European Union, which is covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and requires businesses to get users’ consent.

We will continue to be transparent about our data privacy practices and help users understand their privacy choices on our Safety Center. Our goal is to help businesses reach the people they care about in a creative and meaningful way, while also respecting the privacy of our users. As our advertising platform matures, we continue to be transparent with our users about their choices with respect to personalized advertising on our platform.


People will still be able to control whether TikTok personalizes ads based on data pulled from other apps and websites. The change in TikTok’s privacy settings reflects the way ads already operate on many social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Users can opt out of advertising that’s personalized based on tracking across different sites, but not the personalization based on activity within the sites themselves.

The change is likely related to Apple’s upcoming rollout of iOS 14, which will require developers to get users’ permission to track their data across apps for targeted advertising. Any apps that don’t request permission will risk suspension or removal from the App Store. Making personalized ads mandatory allows TikTok to target advertising to some extent as more people opt out of cross-app tracking.

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