TikTok to impose daily screen time limit for users under 18

TikTok says it will set a 60-minute daily screen time limit for users under the age of 18 amid growing security concerns about the Chinese video-sharing app.

On Wednesday, TikTok announced on its website that it plans to introduce new features, including the default 60-minute time limit, for every account held by those aged under 18 in the coming weeks.

The company said, "If the 60-minute limit is reached, teens will be prompted to enter a pass code in order to continue watching."

It also said, "While there's no collectively-endorsed position on the 'right' amount of screen time or even the impact of screen time more broadly, we consulted the current academic research and experts."

The company said that parents or caregivers will be able to customize the daily screen time limit, including different time limits depending on the day of the week, giving them more choice to match screen time to school schedules and holidays.

The company will also add a function to the app that allows parents or caregivers to check how long their children spent on the app and how many times they opened it.

TikTok is apparently trying to mitigate concerns about possible impact of the app on young users before its CEO Shou Zi Chew testifies at a hearing before the US House committee on March 23.

The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee passed on Wednesday a bill that gives President Joe Biden the power to ban the use of the app in the United States.

The US move comes after Canada's Treasury Board announced on Monday that TikTok would be removed from government-issued mobile devices, starting the following day.

The European Parliament has banned the use of TikTok on official devices, and strongly recommended that its members should remove the app from their personal devices.

The parliament notified staff members on Tuesday that the ban will go into effect on March 20.