Facebook has admitted that children in Messenger Kids participate in group chats without parental consent to cause a flaw in its design. A few weeks ago, U.S. Democratic Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal warned Facebook to prioritize children’s privacy and safety.
Describing the flaw in the platform as a “technical error”, Facebook Vice President Kevin Martin told legislators that many issues and products, including Messenger Kids, were regularly referred to the Federal Trade Commission. reminded me that they were in touch.
Designed for children aged 13 and under to chat, Messenger Kids was available to parents because there were no adults on the platform. However, this error showed that children can overcome restrictions and communicate with unauthorized connections.
In the meantime, with this error, Facebook falls under the jurisdiction of COPPA, the Law on the Protection of Children’s Online Privacy. Privacy advocates, on the other hand, have passed the fast-track move on Messenger Kids. Prosecutors claim that Facebook “violated COPPA by collecting children’s personal information” without obtainingverifiable parental consent or without giving parents clear and complete explanations of Facebook’s dataapplications.
The problem, which occurred almost 10 months after the app was launched, in October 2018, was discovered by Facebook much later.12 On June 12, the company realised the problem and corrected the bug the next day. However, let us note that the company informed the parents about this issue a month later, i.e. on July 15.