The Federal Trade Commission intensified its battle with the biggest tech companies on Wednesday, as it moved to implement a "blanket ban" on the collection and use of personal information by young people.
's parent. The commission is looking to expand the record-breaking consent order of $5 billion with the company by 2020. It also said Meta failed to meet its legal obligations to revamp its privacy practices in order to better protect users. Meta misled parents on their ability to choose who their children could communicate with via its Messenger Kids application, and also misrepresented how much access the company gave to app developers for users' personal data.
This is the third time that the agency has taken action in response to the
Giant over privacy issues
Samuel Levine is the director of the
In a statement to the press, the Bureau of Consumer Protection of's said. "Facebook must answer for its mistakes."
The FTC administrative action, referred to as an "order of show cause," details the FTC's allegations against Meta and its proposed restrictions. The FTC proposed changes that would prevent Meta from profiting off the data it collects on users under 18, whether through Facebook, Instagram or Oculus headsets. The FTC wants to stop Meta from profiting off the data it collects about users younger than 18, including through Facebook, Instagram, Oculus headsets and Horizon Worlds, its new virtual reality platform.
Meta would be forbidden from using information about the activities of young people to target them with ads or to encourage them to purchase digital items like virtual clothing for their avatars. These changes could have a significant impact on Meta's business because its advertising is dependent on user data. This is where it makes most of its money. This is the first time the commission has taken such an aggressive action to protect minors' online privacy. It comes amid the largest government campaign to protect young Americans online since 1990, when commercial internet was in its infancy. In response to growing concerns over depression in children, and the potential role that harmful online experiences can play in exacerbating the condition, legislators in at least 20 states have introduced legislation in the last year that would force certain sites, such as social networks, restrict or ban young people from their platforms. Regulators have also increased their efforts by imposing fines against online services that misuse data and expose children to risk. In the last few years, Meta has been criticized for failing to adequately protect its users against child sexual exploitation and promoting content about self-harming and extreme dieting on Instagram. Meta has 30 days to contest the FTC's filing. Meta was not notified in advance of the FTC's action.