Facebook’s Argument Challenged By California on Online Teen Privacy.
Facebook seems to gotten itself into another hurdle with the justice system , with a recent misinterpretation on how the Child Online Privacy Protection Act applies to teenagers. This was the the stance of the Federal Trade Commission and California Attorney General Kamala Harris in their amicus briefs filed in a California court. Child supporters have asked the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to abandon the settlement that had been entered into by Facebook in a class-action lawsuit involving teen privacy in 2012.
Facebook users have filed a case against the social media site for using their pictures on advertisement page with their expressive consent. Facebook had settled the case sometime around 2012. Although, children advocates had issued a challenged to settlement as part of their goal to get the social media site in getting the consent from parents of teens before their pictures, likes and comment, can be used for advertising purposes.
They also claim that the settlement had actually broken the law in California and six other states which needed the permission of parents before their child’s picture could be used do advertisement.
Within a filing that made it to court sometime in June, Facebook had said that the range of COPPA covered children under the age of 12, and because of this, states will not be able to implement their own laws about teen privacy. Since these federal protections are a not applied towards teenagers, then online actions ”should not be subject to parental consent requirements, even under the auspices of state law,”
The FTC went out of their to expressively say that Facebook interpretation of this law is ”wrong and should be rejected” but did not take sides on the case.
For its end, the State Attorney General said they were concerned that state law was possibly prevented. The brief said:
“Protecting children’s information is of particular importance, because of their still-developing capacities and the potential for misuse of their information on their futures. The attorney general has developed numerous consumer privacy protection guides, including instructions for parents on how to protect their children’s privacy online.”