February 27, 2021

Privacy: Groups File FTC Complaint Against Facebook Over Kids Messenger App

From MultiChannel News:

A coalition of [17] groups have filed a complaint against Facebook with the FTC over what it says is the company’s collection of children’s personal information without obtaining the requisite parental permission.

The complaint is leveled against the Messenger Kids app, a social media platform for children as young as five.

The app does have a parental consent mechanism, but the groups say it does not meet the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) because it is not “reasonably Calculated” to make sure the permission giving permission is actually the parent.

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The complaint was spearheaded by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and drawn up by the Communications & Technology Law Clinic at the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center.

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From  Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC)

CCFC organized the complaint and it was drafted by the Communications & Technology Law Clinic in the Institute for Public Representation (“IPR”) at Georgetown University Law Center. “Despite Facebook’s promises to the contrary, Messenger Kids blatantly violates COPPA’s protections for children’s privacy by collecting children’s personal information without informed, verifiable parental consent,” said Jim Graves, Staff Attorney and Clinical Teaching Fellow at IPR. “In fact, Facebook’s parental verification method is similar to one the FTC rejected in 2013. The FTC should act quickly to stop Facebook’s violation of children’s privacy.”

Organizations which signed today’s complaint along with us were Badass Teachers Association, Centre for Child Honouring, Consumer Federation of America, Defending the Early Years, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Media Education Foundation, MomsRising/MamásConPoder, New Dream, Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, Parents Across America, Parents Television Council, Peace Educators Allied for Children Everywhere (P.E.A.C.E.), Public Citizen, The Story of Stuff, TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Childhood Entertainment), United Opt Out National, and USPIRG.

Read the Complete Announcement

Primary Document

Read the Complaint Filed with the FTC

More Facebook News Today:

FTC Releases “What to Do Next” Alert Re: Facebook Data Breach

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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