Tech

Facebook's Messenger Kids lets under-13s chat with parent-approved contacts

Facebook's Messenger Kids lets under-13s chat with parent-approved contacts

Markey and Blumenthal asked if Facebook would "commit that it will never change that policy and keep all its applications and services for children 12 and under" free of advertisements. That's why they're now demanding that Facebook explain clearly what data it's collecting about its new, young users, and what it's planning to do with it. Facebook says it will only collect minimal amounts of data from Messenger Kids users in an effort to improve the app and will not to sell that data to third parties. The company took many cues from these conversations, said Antigone Davis, Facebook's head of global safety.

"Children today are online earlier and earlier", she said in a statement.

Children and parents can block any contacts at any time.

Basically, this was designed so that parents can protect their children from things that shouldn't be accessed by them in the first place. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.

It is noted that children will be able to complain about those users who are rude when communicating.

Several major tech firms have recently released products that allow younger children to use their services within the limits of the kids' privacy law - and reach more of the country's 48.8 million children under the age of 13 in the process. The service won't allow children to add their own friends or delete messages - only parents can do that. According to them, the management behind Facebook can perhaps see where this trend is going, given the many reasons behind the infamy of the app in terms of a variety of scandals going on out there. Messenger Kids, meanwhile, is a result of seeing what kids like, which is images, emoji and the like.

The company has stated that there will be no ads on Messenger Kids and that children's data will not be used for ads.

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Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. But as with any electronic devices, parents should closely monitor and regulate children's use of a device and their time spent on it so that it does not displace other developmentally appropriate activities such as outdoor-play, exercise time, or face-to-face interactions with peers.

"We remain concerned about where sensitive information collected through this app could end up and for what objective it could be used", they wrote.

Facebook has touted the app as a way for families to better connect and parents to keep their kids safe.

Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however. For example, Facebook has stressed it won't serve ads on the chat app. Once the parent has authenticated it with their own account, they set up a mini-profile with their kid's name and photo. Then the device can be handed over to the child so they can start chatting with the family and friends you approve.

"New aspects of the product will emerge", she said, in her role as a senior consultant for the Center for Digital Democracy.

"Since Messenger Kids is specifically designed for kids 12 and under, Facebook must take heightened care in ensuring the company creates a safe and controlled environment for its young users, complete with parental consent", the lawmakers write. It now seems the company may have similar plans for Instagram. But that's slightly changing now, as the company has made a decision to open the doors of its Messenger services to the kids.