Back in 2017, Facebook launched Messenger Kids which is basically Facebook Messenger designed for kids. Given that Facebook wants to be the biggest social network in the world, it’s not surprising that they’ve started to target a younger audience in hopes that they will eventually become Facebook users as well.
However it seems that several groups in the US that advocate for children’s health have accused Facebook of having violated children’s privacy law, and are urging the FTC to investigate the app. The groups are alleging that the app has violated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act because it doesn’t ensure that the person who sets up the account for the kids is their parent, and thus is unable to give consent with regards to data collection.
Earlier this year children health advocates suggested that Facebook should shut the app down, claiming that it is “harmful” and “undermines children’s healthy development”. Facebook had previously claimed that the app was created with input from parents and also children development experts, but safe to say that there are still many who don’t feel too comfortable about kids using it.