Facebook Launched a "Walled Garden" for Kids

Funner than ever

Once parents download the Facebook app to their child's iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone, they will authenticate it with their Facebook account.

In a comment to Wired, the company emphasized that it will not display ads and thus won't use their data for advertising.

"What child under 13 needs to be on Facebook?" many asked.

Facebook in turn began rolling out Messenger Kids on Monday, "a standalone app that lives on kids' tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent's Facebook account", according to the company.

Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless auto bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who are both members of the Senate Commerce Committee, expressed their concerns in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday.

Just as vocal are parents such as Parker Thompson of Alameda, California, who said children's adoption of technology is an inevitability and who appreciated Facebook's approach with the new app.

Children have zero ability to make connections on Messenger Kids because parents are the only ones who can add contacts for their children. "Video calls become so much more playful with AR", says Marcus.

One of the main reasons social media and messaging services try to block children under 13 is to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

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Franks added, "I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress". Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is set to resign "after asking female staffers to be a surrogate for his child".

Based on Facebook's registration, only those aged 13 and over are allowed to use the website.

It is also because of this law that children under 13 years of age can not legally have a fully-featured Facebook account. Thus, instead of signing into Facebook, they can communicate with their family or friends via Messenger Kids. Every additional friend request requires approval by the parent.

Davis said that Facebook spoke with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that the app is compliant with COPPA.

While Facebook said in the briefing that the app was designed for kids age 6 to 12, younger kids are allowed on, too. That said, it should be a great medium to connect with their family or friends.

Specifically, Markey and Blumenthal asked Facebook on Wednesday to clarify if it is sharing kids' personal information with "brand advertisers or any other third party".

The privacy policy also says that "Messenger Kids is part of Facebook" and that the company may share information collected in the app with other Facebook services.

"The idea of a children's messaging application with built-in parental controls is a response to today's reality of families living in a digitally connected world where children are surrounded by devices, have access to them, and even own a device like a tablet or smartphone". What then? In this case, you have to already be Facebook friends with Peggy's parents. But, per the app's privacy policy, Facebook also collects information on the content of messages. Please specify these vendors and services providers and for what purposes the information is being shared. Children can report bullying or any unwanted communication in the app.

It is highly unlikely if Facebook would oblige and hand over the details of the companies getting children's data, but the letter might force the company to take another action.

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