The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accused Facebook of purposefully misleading parents about its protections for children. 

On 3rd May, 2023, the FTC suggested tightening Facebook’s privacy agreement to include a ban on making money from children’s data. 

Meta, the owner of Facebook, has been specifically accused of misleading parents about how much control it had over who their children could message on the Messenger Kids application. 

The FTC says that Meta breached a 2019 agreement on privacy by being elusive about how much access the app developers had to private data.

The proposed changes to Facebook will mean that the company can’t make money from data belonging to any user under the age of 18. They also hope to put limits on what is collected in its facial recognition tech.

Meta, who also owns Instagram and Whatsapp, is heavily reliant on targeted digital ads from users’ data for over 98% of its revenue. 

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The technology giant has slammed the FTC’s action as a “political stunt” and questioned why the FTC has failed to act against massive “Chinese companies, like TikTok.”

Facebook and Instagram continue to be heavyweights in the social media space, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been battling to stay relevant against the likes of popular smash-hit TikTok.

The news comes as Meta’s shares fell around 2% this week, Reuters reported.

The FTC move is just the first step in attempting to change the 2019 agreement. Facebook now has 30 days to respond. 

A Meta spokesperson said: “We will vigorously fight this action and expect to prevail.”

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publication.