Facebook Messenger Kids Expands Parental Controls, Data Access

When Facebook launched Messenger Kids in 2017, many privacy experts immediately raised concerns. After all, precious few adults trust Facebook with their private information — why on earth would they trust it with their children’s? Thankfully, Facebook announced new tools and features for the app this week that will give parents more oversight and control of their kids’ info, as well as expanded access to their data reports.

Some of the new features include the ability for parents to see their kids’ recent chat history and contacts, images shared in their chats, and who they’ve blocked. Parents will also be able to download a copy of their kids’ data, just like adult Facebook users can do. The company was also careful to point out that it doesn’t target advertising user data from Messenger Kids, and that it has not and never will sell their information.

“The privacy policy continues to make it clear — now with even greater transparency — that we only share information with service providers for the purpose of operating the Messenger Kids service,” Facebook wrote in a blog post announcing the updates. “We require them to adhere to strict data confidentiality and security obligations, and work with them on things like reviewing and addressing reported issues from our users.”

While these changes are certainly a step in the right direction, it doesn’t address the core problem of Facebook’s appetite for data. As long as users of any age are on the platform, it will keep getting its hands on our private info.

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