(San Francisco) The US consumer protection agency, the FTC, on Wednesday threatened Meta (Facebook, Instagram) with a ban on the monetization of teenage data, accusing it of failing to meet commitments made after the scandal from Cambridge Analytica.
“Facebook failed to live up to its data privacy promises. The recklessness of the company has endangered young users, “assured Samuel Levine, one of the senior officials of the federal agency, quoted in a press release.
In the summer of 2019, the FTC fined Facebook $5 billion for failing to protect personal information. This was the conclusion of an investigation into the massive misuse of Facebook user data by the British firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.
In addition to the financial penalty, the social networking giant had to commit to adding features allowing users to better control the confidentiality of their information.
The FTC accuses Meta of misleading parents about their ability to control their children’s communications on Messenger Kids, an app for kids under 13.
She now wants to strengthen the rules imposed on the Californian group nearly four years ago.
“Under the proposed changes, Meta […] would be prohibited from profiting financially from the data it collects on users under the age of 18, including through its virtual reality products. And it would be subject to other limitations, including in its use of facial recognition technology, and required to provide additional protections for users.
If the new decision goes into effect, Meta will also have to undergo independent audits before launching new products, to check that they comply with its own data privacy regulations.
The company has 30 days to respond, and then the FTC will decide whether to adopt or modify its proposal.
“This is a political publicity stunt. We’ve been in constant conversation with the FTC about this deal for three years, and they’ve never given us the opportunity to discuss this completely new theory,” the group replied in an official Twitter post. by Andy Stone, a spokesperson.
The FTC is chaired by Lina Khan, a Democratic jurist known for her hostility to big tech companies.
Another member of the authority, Alvaro Bedoya, however, issued a separate statement to express his doubts about the institution’s ability to modify the agreement reached in 2019 in this way.