This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) threatened Facebook with a new round of restrictions for allegedly violating children’s privacy through the Messenger Kids app. According to the regulatory agency, the social media giant misrepresented that kids using this app would only be able to communicate with people approved by their parents. The FTC says that in some cases, kids were able to talk with unapproved individuals in group chats and video messages.
These findings are a bombshell for the company, and seem to have caught it completely off guard. However, the FTC signaled the seriousness of these charges with a strong statement, indicating that action against Facebook could be on the way.
“Facebook has repeatedly violated its privacy promises,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The company’s recklessness has put young users at risk, and Facebook needs to answer for its failures.”
For its part, Facebook hit back at the agency in no uncertain terms, accusing it of targeting the company for political purposes.
“We have spent vast resources building and implementing an industry-leading privacy program under the terms of our FTC agreement,” Facebook parent company Meta said in a statement. “We will vigorously fight this action and expect to prevail.”
Facebook may be talking tough now, but if the FTC truly turns its sights on it, this could get ugly quickly for the company.
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