FTC pushes to ban Meta from profiting off children’s data


On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission proposed sweeping changes to how Meta operates, accusing the company of violating a suite of child privacy protections. 

In a press release, the agency alleged that Meta violated a 2020 privacy order it had reached with the agency. The proposal cites instances in which the company misled parents on the extent of their abilities to control who their children communicate with over services like Messenger Kids, and misrepresenting the access the company grants third-party app developers to private user data.

“Facebook has repeatedly violated its privacy promises,” said Samuel Levine, FTC consumer protection bureau director. “The company’s recklessness has put young users at risk and Facebook needs to answer for its failures.”

The FTC’s proposed changes would ban Meta, Facebook, and the rest of the company’s properties from monetizing the data of children under 18 years old. It would also bar the company from launching new products or services without the green light from an independent privacy assessor, and would require explicit user consent for any new uses of facial recognition technology.

These new rules would apply to Facebook and Meta’s other platforms, including Instagram, Oculus, and WhatsApp. It would also cover any new companies Meta could merge with in the future.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The FTC’s proposal is just the first step in a process to heighten Meta’s privacy and security practices.

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