Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg is being questioned again. And this time around he is being questioned on whether his company his doing enough to protect the privacy of thje children who use the Facebook Messenger Kids app.
The Verge, in a reoport last month, noted that a bug in the Facebook Messenger Kids app allowed children to talk to people who had not been approved by their parents. For understanding, children who use the social messaging giant’s Messenger Kids app need parental permission before they interact with anyone on the platform. While permissions in case of individual chats are simple, they become a tad bit complicated in case of group chat.
According to report, the flaw in the app allowed children in a group formed by another kid to interact with people who they may not have been allowed to by their parents. To put it simply, while the parent of the kid who made the group might have allowed them to interact with all other people in the group, the same permission may not have been granted by parents of other children in the group, which is where the flaw arised.
Facebook, upon learning about the flaw, had started informing parents of the children whose accounts had been affected due to the flaw about the issue.
Now, democratic senators Edward J Markey and Richard Blumenthal have written a letter to the Facebook CEO seeking more transparency regarding the nature of the Messenger Kids flaw and demanding answers as to what the social media giant was doing to ensure that the app meets the requirements of the law and expectations of the parent.
“Children’s privacy and safety onlline should be Messenger Kids’ top priority. Your company has a responsibility to meet its promise to parents that children are not exposed to unapproved contacts, a promise that it appears that Facebook has not fulfilled,” the letter notes.
The senators have asked a series of questions to Zuckerberg that range from the time when Facebook first got to know about the flaw to the time period for which the flaw has existed in the app to if parents were able to review the unapproved group chats that their children were a part of.
The letter has requested Facebook to respond to all its questions by August 27, 2019.