Facebook Messenger for Kids has just been released for children under 13, bringing a more kid-oriented experience to messaging on Facebook. The app allows for drawing on photos and adding stickers and Facebook says there are tons of safety measures built-in. Parents will need to use their Facebook email address and password to activate the child’s account.
Facebook’s move is the latest from a tech behemoth that shows how technology companies are confronting the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. This law requires companies targeting children under 13 to take extra steps to safeguard privacy and security. For years, major tech firms such as Facebook have complied with COPPA by not allowing those under 13 to have accounts. But with technology moving deeper into the home and many firms looking for more growth, children have become a more attractive market.
Facebook says the new app will collect your child’s data, including their name, content of their messages, and how they interact with the app. Facebook says the data collected will not port to any account the child creates when they turn 13. Facebook does reserve the right to share your child’s data with third-parties so that is something you should be aware of.
“Parents may worry about exposing their young children to digital services, but Facebook has taken steps to make sure they can maintain control,” said Larry Magid, chief executive of the nonprofit ConnectSafely.org, one of many organizations Facebook briefed on the product ahead of its launch.
It will be interesting to see parents reaction to this new app for kids under 13. With so many privacy concerns and children’s online safety issues a paramount discussion, will parents be keen on allowing kids under 13 this sort of access to online social media? We shall see.
Last Updated on December 4, 2017.