US regulators criticize Meta for using children’s data

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has criticized Meta’s protection and privacy controls regarding children using the Messenger Kids app and has proposed stricter new controls over the use of data for children under the age of 18.

Regulators have accused Meta of misleading parents about the privacy of their children’s data and controlling who can communicate through Messenger Kids. Messenger Kids is marketed as “a free and secure app for kids to connect, communicate and play with family and friends.”

The FTC says Meta’s claims about how much control parents have over who their children can message are misleading. Children can communicate with individuals outside the group via text and video, and Meta developers say they have access to the children’s data.

These issues have caused the company to violate the 2020 Privacy Order implemented by regulators after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“Facebook has repeatedly violated its privacy promises,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Office of Consumer Protection. press release“The company’s recklessness puts young users at risk, and Facebook must answer for its failures.”

Regulators are proposing changes to orders for 2020, including:

  • Prevent Meta and its subsidiaries from profiting from data from users under the age of 18.
  • Before launching any new product or service, we require written confirmation from an independent evaluator that Meta’s privacy program is in compliance.
  • Requiring Meta to obtain user consent for the use of facial recognition technology.
  • Requires all companies acquired by Meta to comply with the order.
  • Removes several gaps and shortcomings in the company’s privacy program identified by regulators.

The FTC said Facebook (as it was then called) violated rulings imposed in 2012 and 2020. The latter is his $5 billion settlement resulting from misuse of data by Cambridge Analytica, which still allows developers to access dormant users’ data. Users who haven’t used the app in 90 days even though they promised not to use it in 2018. The company claims that this activity will continue until mid-2020.

The FTC alleges that Meta not only violated previous agreements, but also violated child privacy laws. Coppaimposes rules on websites and services directed to children under the age of 13.

This move, if implemented, will have a significant impact on Meta’s business, including the move to virtual reality and the Metaverse.

As of Wednesday, Meta has 30 days to respond. You will be given the opportunity to appeal any decision.

Meta spokesman Andy Stone called the proposal a “political stunt” and vowed to oppose it.

“After three years of continuous engagement with the FTC toward our agreement, they have not provided an opportunity to discuss this completely unprecedented new theory,” Stone said in a statement. “FTC Chairman Rina Kern claims that whatever means – no matter how unsubstantiated – will be used to oppose American business, but it has reached its lowest level ever. bottom.”

https://www.computing.co.uk/news/4113309/us-regulator-criticises-meta-childrens US regulators criticize Meta for using children’s data

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