Facebook Privacy Rules Could Change

John Lister's picture

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may put a temporary ban on any new products from Facebook's parent company, Meta. It could also ban Facebook from making any money from data involving children.

The FTC says "Facebook has repeatedly violated its privacy promises." Those promises came in a 2020 agreement when Facebook promised to change its behavior. That agreement, which included a $5 billion civil penalty, came after Facebook allegedly breached the terms of a previous agreement from way back in 2012. (Source: ftc.gov)

Kids Could Chat to Strangers

According to the FTC, an independent assessor has revealed Facebook breached its 2020 promises mainly in two ways. The first is that it didn't fully live up to a promise to stop app developers accessing private information if a user had not used the app for 90 days.

The second breach was over a promise to not misrepresent the level of privacy on its dedicated Messenger Kids tool. The FTC says Facebook's claims that children using the tool could only communicate with people their parents had approved.

In fact in some cases children could take part in group text chats and group video calls with unapproved contacts. That could not only violate the previous agreement but also the COPPA rule that restricts the use of personal data involving under 13s.

Facial Recognition a Concern

The FTC has now taken the first steps in a legal process that could wind up with forced changes to the 2020 agreement, including increased monitoring and reviews. Among its over proposals are a complete ban on using any data about children for commercial purposes.

Another suggestion is that Meta not be allowed to launch any new product or service until an independent assessor has confirmed its privacy complies with the agreements. Meta would also need "affirmative consent" from users for any facial recognition technology. (Source: siliconrepublic.com)

Not only would the proposals also cover any company that Meta took over or merged with, but Meta would be required to live up to any privacy commitments the other company had already made.

Meta now has 30 days to respond to the proposals.

What's Your Opinion?

Do the proposed changes sound fair? Do regulators do enough to protect privacy online? Should it be left up to users to simply quit Facebook if they don't like the privacy policies?

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OadbyPC's picture

If we can have public sector radio and TV, why not social media?