'Meta unlawfully collected personal data of young users': 33 US states claim in lawsuit | Mint
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Business News/ Technology / News/  'Meta unlawfully collected personal data of young users': 33 US states claim in lawsuit
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'Meta unlawfully collected personal data of young users': 33 US states claim in lawsuit

The charges against Meta are part of a federal lawsuit filed by 33 US states, alleging that the company has misled the public about the dangers of its social media platforms and exploited vulnerable users, particularly teenagers and children.

Meta Designed Products to Capitalize on Teen Vulnerabilities, States AllegePremium
Meta Designed Products to Capitalize on Teen Vulnerabilities, States Allege

Meta, the social media company behind platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, is being sued by 33 US states for, among other things, illegally collecting the personal data of underage users.

Also Read| Is Meta trying to dodge requirements of India’s Personal Data Protection law?

The allegations against Meta are part of a federal lawsuit filed last month by 33 US states, including California and Colorado, in a federal district court in California.

“Meta has harnessed powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens. Meta has repeatedly misled the public about the substantial dangers of its Social Media Platforms. It has concealed the ways in which these Platforms exploit and manipulate its most vulnerable 9| consumers: teenagers and children" the lawsuit filed by 33 US states noted. 

The lawsuit alleges that Meta's business model is based on maximising the time young users spend on social media platforms, allowing the company to sell more advertising targeted at those users.

The lawsuit further alleges that Meta has created a sophisticated set of "psychologically manipulative platform features" designed to maximise the time young users spend on its platforms. It also alleges that Meta published misleading reports showing low rates of negative and harmful experiences for users of Facebook and Instagram, while hiding internal data showing the dangers of these technologies.

“Within the company, Meta’s actual knowledge that millions of Instagram users are under the age of 13 is an open secret that is routinely documented, rigorously analyzed and confirmed," the US States alleged.

Meta responds to the US States led lawsuit: 

A statement made by Meta to NYT, noted that the company has spent a decade working towards making online experiences safe and age-appropriate for teenagers while the complaint “mischaracterizes our work using selective quotes and cherry-picked documents."

Moreover, the company also noted that Instagram does not allow users below the age of 13 in the United States and the social media giant had “measures in place to remove these accounts when we identify them."

 

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Published: 27 Nov 2023, 10:29 AM IST
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