Facebook shows the need for protection across the board
Social media companies YouTube, TikTok and Snap will advertise established teen privacy protections to counter questioning lawmakers at a hearing Tuesday, seeking to distance themselves from criticism faced by rival Facebook.
Company executives are meeting with senators a day after a Facebook Inc. leak about the company putting profits ahead of user safety went public.
The companies claim they have existing protections
“Big technology is using powerful algorithms and design features recklessly and carelessly and they need to change. They’re grabbing at the insecurities of children just to make more money,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.
The three social media companies are expected to seek to distinguish themselves from Facebook in their approach to online safety. YouTube plans to tell the group that YouTube Kids, created in 2015, provides tools for parents to manage and customize apps for children, and children under 13 are not allowed on YouTube without parental supervision.
TikTok will talk about the specific actions it has taken to protect children’s safety in recent years, including disabling the live messaging feature for users under 16. Snap emphasizes that one of its strongest privacy protections is that it only allows access for ages 13 and older and has no plans to sell it to children under 13.
Democratic senators have sponsored an update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which was passed in 1998.