App designed specifically for kids 12 and under
Washington (December 7, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today sent a letter to Facebook about the company’s recent release of “Messenger Kids”, an app designed specifically for children 12 and under. Facebook Messenger, both limited in scope and ability, allows parents to set up profiles with their kids, and connect them with friends or relatives through text and video chat. Given the sensitive nature of children’s personal information, the Senators are concerned that Messenger Kids must take responsible steps to protect their privacy and comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA protects children’s privacy by providing parents with tools to control the information collected online about their children ages 12 and under. Senator Markey is the House author of COPPA.
“We remain concerned about where sensitive information collected through this app could end up and for what purpose it could be used,” write the Senators to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in their letter. “Facebook must take heightened care in ensuring the company creates a safe and controlled environment for its young users, complete with parental consent.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
In the letter to Facebook, Senators Markey and Blumenthal ask questions that include: