TikTok gives users enhanced data control for DMA compliance


TikTok launched a new Data Portability API as part of its efforts to comply with the Digital Markets Act, which is being rolled out this week.

This feature gives users on the platform the option to choose how their data is handled between the platform and third-party apps. It aligns with TikTok’s ongoing efforts to enhance user privacy, following its recent introduction of advanced data control tools and the ability to disable personalization in the app.

What is Data Portability API? TikTok’s Data Portability API enables users to authorize the transfer of their information and third-party apps. This data encompasses details such as:

  • Profile information.
  • Posts information.
  • Followers and following lists.
  • Activity.
  • Direct messages.

Currently, this feature is limited to the European Economic Area (EEA), but TikTok is actively working on making this API more widely accessible in the future.

Accessibility. TikTok’s Data Portability API is globally available but currently limited to qualified applicants, specifically covering data for TikTok users in the EEA. To qualify for access, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a well-defined use case that requires access to one or more of the listed scopes.
  • Serve TikTok users in the EEA and be able to distinguish them (the API will not return data for users outside the EEA).
  • Provide high-fidelity UX mockups and pass a privacy and security review to ensure user safet.

What TikTok is saying. TikTok said in a statement:

  • “Data Portability API will allow registered developers to request user permission to transfer a copy of their TikTok data.”
  • “EEA users will be able to authorise either a one-time or recurring transfer, and will be able to select specific categories of data or their full archive, allowing for continuous and real-time data portability.”

Legal issues. The DMA requires data portability for platforms seen as “gatekeepers” by EU officials – however, TikTok disputes its designation as a gatekeeper. While TikTok’s appeal is pending, it must still prepare for DMA compliance, aligning with the latest regulations. The platform explained:

  • “As we have made clear, we fully support the goals of the DMA, but believe that our designation risks undermining the DMA’s own stated goal by protecting actual gatekeepers from newer competitors like TikTok and will continue our legal challenge to the underlying designation.”

Why we care. If TikTok doesn’t adhere to the DMA, it might face penalties and the risk of being inaccessible to its 134 million users in Europe. This could seriously harm advertisers running campaigns in the EEA on the platform.

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Deep dive. Read TikTok’s announcement in full for more information.

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