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Kik has been criticized for providing inadequate parental control over minors' use of the app.
The ability to share messages without alerting parents has been noted as "one of the reasons why teens like Kik".
The guide further said that the company does not have access to content or "historical user data" such as photographs, videos, and the text of conversations, and that photographs and videos are automatically deleted shortly after they are sent.
A limited amount of data from a particular account (identified by exact username), including first and last name, birthdate, e-mail address, link to a current profile picture, device-related information, and user location information such as the most recently used IP address, can be preserved for a period of 90 days pending receipt of a valid order from law enforcement.
To register for the Kik service, a user must enter a first and last name, e-mail address, and birth date (which, as of February 2016, must show that the user is at least 13 years old As of February 2016, Kik's guide for law enforcement said that the company cannot locate user accounts based on first and last name, e-mail address and/or birth date; the exact username is required to locate a particular account.
Parents cannot automatically view their child's Kik communications remotely from another device, but instead must have the password to their child's user account and view the communications on the same device used by their child.
Kik Interactive has said that it uses "typical" industry standards for age verification, that "perfect age verification" is "not plausible", and that the company deletes accounts of users under 13 when it finds them, or when a parent requests the deletion.
In March 2015, the company adopted a more aggressive strategy by utilizing Microsoft's Photo DNA cloud service to automatically detect, delete, and report the distribution of child exploitation images on its app.
(Some experts have noted that because Photo DNA operates by comparing images against an existing database of exploitative images, it does not effectively prevent "realtime" online child abuse and may not detect material not yet added to its comparison database.) Kik Interactive also began collaborating internationally with law enforcement by joining the Virtual Global Taskforce, a partnership between businesses, child protection agencies, and international police services that combats online child exploitation and abuse.