FTC should probe Facebook for violating the privacy of children with unfair and deceptive trade practices, groups urge

connectVideoFTC allegedly for the planning of the record-setting’ fine on Facebook for mishandling user data

Brett Larson reports on what the future has in store for the social media giant.

A coalition of 16 consumer groups on Thursday called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Facebook engaged in unfair and misleading commercial practices which are in conflict with the big kids of the privacy act.

This last complaint with the FTC, which is already probing a range of tech-giant is the business, is in response to the documents of the breaking of the seal of 2012, a class action lawsuit that was settled in 2016.

The internal Facebook documents released in response to Freedom of Information request by the Center for Investigative Reporting allegedly revealed the company was aware to deceive children into making in-game purchases and made repayments almost impossible to receive with a complicated bureaucratic process.


The lawyers want the FTC to investigate whether Facebook employed unfair business practices by charging children for purchases made without the consent of the parents. Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that advocates for the health of the child, and the other organizations filing the complaint, also wants the federal agency to investigate whether Facebook violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which makes it unlawful for an operator of a website or online service directed at children to collect personal information from a child without the verifiable consent of the parents.

“Facebook is the practice of ‘friendly fraud’ and referring to the children as “whales” shows a continuing pattern of the company that is profit above people. Kids, under any circumstances, must not be the target of the irresponsible and unethical marketing tactics,” said Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, in a statement. “Facebook has a moral obligation to change the culture in the direction of practices that promote the well-being of children and families, and the FTC need to make sure Facebook is acting responsibly.”


Josh Golin, the executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which also supports the FTC’s complaint, said: “Facebook is the scamming of children is not only immoral and objectionable — it is likely a violation of the consumer protection legislation.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified in Washington in 2018 but did not appear before British legislators.

The FTC complaint comes days after a British fake-news report of the social network and the leadership “digital gangsters” and the FTC is reportedly negotiating a multi-billion dollar settlement with Facebook.

When they are in contact with Fox News for the response to the complaint, a Facebook spokesperson provided the following statement:

“We want people to have a safe and enjoyable gaming experiences on Facebook, so providing the means to seek refunds for unauthorized purchases made in games is an important part of the platform. We have mechanisms to prevent fraud, at the time of the sale, and we offer people the ability to dispute purchases, and seek refunds. As part of our long history of working together with parents and experts to provide tools for families to navigate on Facebook and the web, Facebook has also safeguards with regard to minors’ purchases. In 2016, the updating of our general now, a specific means for refund requests related to purchases made by minors on Facebook, including a special training for our reviewers.”

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