Press Releases

Tech Oversight Project Applauds FTC for Proposed Blanket Ban on Meta, Limiting the Company’s Ability to Monetize Children’s Data

May 03, 2023

Read Meta’s Response, Vowing to Continue to “Fight” Against Kids

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, The Tech Oversight Project applauded the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for proposing a blanket ban on Meta – limiting the company’s ability to monetize and profit off of children’s data. The FTC alleges that the company has failed to fully comply with orders, misled parents about their ability to control with whom their children communicated through its Messenger Kids app, and misrepresented the access it provided some app developers to private user data.

The proposed changes come amid accusations by lawmakers in statehouses across the country that Meta, as well as Google, Apple, Amazon, and TikTok, are funding a war against children and protections for children online.

The response from Meta spokesperson Andy Stone moments after the announcement called the move a “political stunt.” The statement underscores that the company is willing to “vigorously fight” the FTC for its efforts to de-incentivize Meta’s predatory business model that designs products to get kids addicted to their apps, increase screen time, and then harvest and profit off of kids’ data.

“We applaud the FTC and Chair Lina Khan for taking necessary steps to de-incentivize Meta’s predatory business model and protect children and teens. For far too long, companies like Meta, Google, Apple, Amazon, and TikTok have centered their core businesses around the goal of designing products that get people addicted, increase their screen time, and then profit off of their personal data,” said Kyle Morse, Deputy Executive Director of The Tech Oversight Project. “Meta cares about protecting its stock price, not protecting the children who suffer at the hands of predatory algorithms. They have zero incentive to protect minors because it doesn’t make them money. Drastic action is needed, and we will continue to support the Biden Administration and the FTC in its efforts to protect children and teens online.”

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