Attorney General Phil Weiser presses Facebook for details on plans for kids-only Instagram

Colorado News

JamieDimon004.JPG Phil Weiser, Dean of the University of Colorado Law School, at right, speaks to the crowd while moderating an event with guest Jamie Dimon, President and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Banks, at left, during the University of Colorado’s Entrepreneurs Unplugged event on Monday at the Imig Music building on the CU campus in Boulder. For more photos of the event go to www.dailycamera.com
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer Aug. 3, 2015

DENVER, Colo. — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser today sent a bipartisan letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking for more information about Facebook’s announced plans to launch a kids version of Instagram and how the company will protect the privacy and safety of children under 13 years old who use the new platform.

“Young children are highly vulnerable and may not fully understand the privacy and safety implications of using the internet, and how companies collect their personal information and online behavior patterns. Facebook has an obligation to inform parents and the public on how it will protect young children who use their platforms, including an Instagram for kids,” said Weiser.

In the letter, Weiser and the attorneys general from Arizona, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania pose a series of questions to clarify how Facebook will ensure an Instagram for children platform fully complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law that requires internet services and website companies to protect the privacy and information of users under the age of 13.

For instance, the attorneys general ask what type of information the company intends to track, how this information will be used, and how parents will be able to review or delete any information that is collected or shared from their child. They also ask what steps Facebook will take to ensure young children do not use Instagram without verifiable parental consent, and which features will be available for parents to monitor their children’s online behavior and keep their child’s data from being shared with third parties or other Facebook companies for commercial purposes.

The attorneys general also question how Facebook will protect data collected on young users and the steps it will take to prevent unauthorized parties from accessing this information.

“As attorney general, I am committed to protecting the welfare of children. Any Facebook product that targets children below the age of 13, including an Instagram for children, must comply with child online privacy laws and meet the highest standards for user privacy and safety. I look forward to receiving Facebook’s answers to our questions and how the company will protect young children who use the new platform,” said Weiser.  

Read the full letter here.

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