March 20, 2018

Facebook launches messenger for kids under 13

07 December 2017, 10:55 | Winifred Adams

AM ET Sens. Grill Facebook's Zuckerberg on New Kids App Say they have concerns about where sensitive info could wind

AM ET Sens. Grill Facebook's Zuckerberg on New Kids App Say they have concerns about where sensitive info could wind

The social media giant has launched a new app allowing young children to send messages through Facebook. Parents will not have to download any additional app, as everything for their kids can be accessed within the main Messenger account of theirs. Every additional friend request requires approval by the parent.

The app is now only available in the United States on Apple's iOS operating system. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. More devices will be added in the future.

It will allow children and adolescents to exchange messages and video calls without account registration.

Messenger Kids takes these steps to put the parent in total control of the children's messenger account.

"While we appreciate Facebook taking steps to protect this vulnerable population by including parental controls, establishing an ad-free environment, and restricting some data collection, we remain concerned about where sensitive information collected through this app could end up and for what goal it could be used", they wrote.

Facebook now has a messaging app for kids - its first product aimed at young children, putting the social network at the heart of the ongoing debate about how and when children should start their online lives.

"So when we heard about the need for better apps directly from parents during research and conversations with parents, we knew we needed to develop it alongside with the people who were going to use it, as well as experts who could help guide our thinking".

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Children and parents can block any contacts at any time.

Others cautioned that the app raised concerns about children's privacy. Messages do not disappear and can not be hidden by children. 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.

The company also said it would not automatically move users to the regular Messenger app or Facebook service after they turn 13. "Tbh", which Facebook snapped up back in October, encourages users to talk positively about other people by asking questions like "Who has the most infectious laugh?"

James Steyer heads the not-for-profit group Common Sense, which seeks to promote safe technology and media for children. Messenger Kids will also omit search database of kids. No message content is collected for ad targeting (same as Messenger), and there's no in-app purchases to worry about. He also wonders whether the parents of child users will receive ads based on the new service. Facebook is indeed coming for your kids. Parental permission is required to sign up for the app, she said.

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

It is reported by UNN with reference to the official website of the company. Hai Do was the editor. You can cycle through questions to find one you want to answer, and when you do, you can post it as a colorful status update to your wall to show your friends.

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