Advocacy Group: Teen Facebook Users May Be Disproportionately Harmed By Data Policies

Facebook’s privacy woes just keep getting worse. This week, the advocacy group Common Sense Media sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking the organization to investigate how Facebook has handled the data and privacy of teenage users.

The nonprofit group is arguing that young users may have been most at risk to have their data improperly obtained in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, or in the more recent controversy surrounding Facebook’s relationship with device makers, because teens are more likely to use third-party apps and play games on their phones.

“The sharing of information with device makers is yet another reason why the Commission should pay special attention to how Facebook’s mishandling of user information impacted teens,” Common Sense CEO James Steyer wrote in a letter to the FTC. “Moreover, that this sharing was not disclosed during multiple Congressional hearings, but rather unearthed by reporters, underscores how much of what Facebook does continues to be extremely opaque.”

Teens are also far less likely to be cautious with their social media privacy, according to a recent study. Following Facebook’s recent scandals, 68 percent of parents said they would be more cautious using social media, while only 38 percent of teens said the same. All in all, Facebook has been losing younger users in big numbers lately, and news stories like this certainly won’t help the social media giant retain them.