Proposed FTC order would ban Meta from monetizing minors’ data

Meta has long sold the data of minors as a part of its business model. The FTC's order could change that.

Kids and teens are put at risk when companies gather and sell their data.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a ban against Meta that would prohibit the company from monetizing the data of kids and teens, following its possible violation of a 2020 data privacy settlement. In the 2020 settlement, the FTC mandated that Facebook bolster privacy measures and complete an internal assessment with a third-party. These results from the internal assessment have just been released, and found that Facebook continued to mislead users about its use of their personal data.

This time around, Meta allegedly continued allowing app developers to access users’ private information even if users had not used the platform in the past 90 days. Meta also allegedly misled parents about limitations on children using Messenger Kids, a messaging platform marketed towards young users. 

The FTC’s order would require Meta to only gather data from users under 18 in order to provide services or for security purposes. Meta has 30 days to respond to the proposed changes. 

Last year, PIRG filed comments with the FTC asking the agency to write rules to stop companies from collecting, selling and using consumers’ data. Reckless data practices cause problems for everyone. This step by the FTC would be extraordinary progress towards a better and safer internet.


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