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FTC Targets Meta for Tightening 2020 Privacy Order on Child Protection

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accused Meta's Facebook of breaching a 2019 privacy agreement by misleading parents about protections for children. The FTC has proposed tightening the order as a result.

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Facebook's Misleading Control on Messenger Kids

The commission states that Facebook misled parents about the extent of their control over their children's contacts in the Messenger Kids app. Additionally, the company was deceptive about how much access app developers had to users' private data.

Proposed Changes to Protect Users Under 18

The FTC's suggested changes include preventing Facebook from profiting off data collected on users under 18, even in its virtual reality business. Facebook would also face expanded limitations on using facial recognition technology.

Facebook's 30-Day Response Period

This action marks the first step in altering the order. Facebook has 30 days to respond, and the company can appeal any commission decision to an appeals court.

FTC's Previous Settlements with Facebook

The FTC has twice settled with Facebook for privacy violations. The first occurred in 2012, followed by a 2019 agreement in which Facebook paid a record $5 billion exemplary to resolve allegations of misleading users about their control over personal data. The order was finalized in 2020.