Facebook has been accused by US regulators of failing to protect children’s privacy using the Messenger Kids app, accusing the social media platform of misleading parents. In addition to that accusation, it also misrepresented access to non-public user data it provided to app developers, prompting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to propose several privacy changes.
FTC on Wednesday proposed A sweeping change to the 2020 Privacy Order with the company now known as Meta, which prohibits profiting from data collected from users under the age of 18.
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The company is also subject to other restrictions, including the use of facial recognition technology, and must provide additional privacy protections to its users.
According to the FTC, this includes data collected through virtual reality products. The FTC says Meta failed to fully comply with his 2020 order.
Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Office of Consumer Protection, said:
“The company’s recklessness puts young users at risk, and Facebook must answer for its failures.”
Facebook and broken promises
The FTC also said Facebook misrepresented from late 2017 to 2019 that parents could control who their children communicated with via the Messenger Kids app.
According to the FTC, despite the company’s promise that children using Messenger Kids can only communicate with parent-approved contacts, under certain circumstances, children are not approved for group text chats or group video calls. I was able to communicate with my contact.
Facebook launch Messenger Kids (2017) was created with parent approval as a way for kids to chat with family and friends. The app works as an extension of the parent’s account rather than giving the child a separate account. Parents thus get control over things like the ability to decide who their children communicate with.
At the launch of the service, the company indicated that Messenger Kids does not display ads or collect marketing materials, but does collect data said to be necessary to run the service. To do.
In a prepared statement, Mehta said the announcement was politically motivated and indicated that efforts were made to engage the FTC without success.
“Despite three years of continuous engagement with the FTC regarding our agreement, they have not offered an opportunity to discuss this new and completely unprecedented theory,” Mehta said.
“Let’s be clear about what the FTC is trying to do: take away the power of Congress to set industry-wide standards, single out one American company instead, and let Chinese companies like TikTok constrain themselves on American soil. We will be able to work without receiving any harassment,” added the company.
In response to the FTC’s announcement on Twitter, one user identified as Rhodioli described the move as an ideological war.
“I just want to ban everything related to American corporations. rhodioli said.
Others believe that the FTC is unfair and deserves its own investigation.
“Seriously?!?!?!?! Shouldn’t we care more about what Tik Tok does?” Asked Maima.
Mehta has been given 30 days to respond to the FTC’s decision and has said it will “fight vigorously” against the FTC’s decision and expects to win.
Despite Meta’s stance, various groups of experts have criticized the company. In 2018, a group of 100 experts, advocates, pediatricians, educators and parenting organizations challenged Facebook’s claims that the app met children’s needs for messaging services.
“Messenger Kids don’t serve needs, they create needs,” the letter reads.
“It will appeal primarily to children who otherwise don’t have social media accounts of their own,” read another sentence in the letter.
In response to a letter at the time, Facebook said the app “helps parents and children chat in a safer way,” emphasizing that parents are always in control of their children’s activities.
However, the FTC says this is not the case. Under the 2020 Privacy Directive, Facebook will $5 billion fine, required an independent evaluator to evaluate the company’s privacy practices.
According to the FTC, raters identified “several gaps and weaknesses in Facebook’s privacy program.”
Other critics accused Facebook of violating users’ data privacy and backed the FTC for this intervention.
“They have always violated people’s legal rights. Tracking/spying on devices that have never used Facebook or Instagram… in violation of all agreements ever made #Spying_on_people #Meta #Criminal behavior,” murmured Mr Stocks Freeman.
Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, praised the FTC’s action, calling it long overdue to intervene in what has become “a huge national crisis for young people.”
Chester said Meta, with platforms like Facebook and Instagram, is “at the center of a powerful commercialized social media system that has spiraled out of control and threatened the mental health and well-being of children and young people.” There are,’ he said.
The company “unleashes even more powerful data collection and targeting tactics leveraging immersive content, virtual reality and artificial intelligence to further push young people into the metaverse without meaningful safeguards.