Facebook is under pressure to close the Instagram kids program
Facebook is under pressure to close the Instagram kids program

In an open letter, the National Association of Public Prosecutors asked Facebook to drop its plan to target the Instagram platform to children under the age of 13.

The letter was signed by prosecutors in 44 different states (including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands) that represent most of the United States.

According to the news: Facebook doesn't seem to have responded but it has created a platform primarily intended for kids who don't want to or have an Instagram account. The attorney general asked Facebook to drop plans to start the new platform model.

The kids-focused Instagram platform plan was first published in a Buzzfeed report in March and was later confirmed by the company.

The internal email flagged in the report indicated the project as a commercial priority, but Facebook insisted there was no launch plan at the time.

While the new attorney general's letter lacks formal legal approval, it highlights the enormous legal risks Facebook faces in carrying out the project.

Children under the age of 13 in the United States enjoy enhanced legal protection under the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which includes particularly strict rules on data collection.

Traditionally, social networks complied with the law by banning users under the age of 13, but did not protect them from government measures.

After an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, Google recently agreed to pay $ 170 million to collect company data on children's content from YouTube videos.

Prosecutors are actively working to enforce COPPA, so there is an implied legal threat associated with this new message. The content is as follows: If Facebook continues its plan to launch Instagram for kids, prosecutors will closely monitor violations of the Children's Online Privacy Act. It will enthusiastically defend the violations they discover.

Facebook said: It does not sell ads on Instagram apps to young children, but it has not been shy about the interest in developing the app.

We are just starting to research the children's version of Instagram and we all agree that any experience we gain prioritizes children's safety and privacy, child development and child safety and mental health should be consulted as well as an experienced attorney, 'said a Facebook policy official. Aggregate.

He added: We look forward to working with lawmakers and regulators, including prosecutors, across the country, and today we are committed to not serving ads about the Instagram experience we are developing to people under the age of 13.

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