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  • Voltaire Staff

33 US states accuse Meta of collecting underage users' details

Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Newly disclosed court documents reveal that Meta, the parent company of Instagram, is aware of millions of users under the age of 13 on its platform and vigorously shields this information from public disclosure, the New York Times reported on Monday.

In a redacted complaint initially filed in October Meta was accused of deliberately designing addictive features, particularly on Instagram,

targeting young users. However, an unredacted version filed by 33 states this week adds a new claim: Meta knowingly allowed millions of under-13-year-olds on Instagram in violation of its age policy.

The complaint contends that Meta possesses concrete knowledge of the issue, which is extensively documented, analysed, and confirmed internally.

Despite this, the company has allegedly only closed a small portion of these underage accounts, it alleged.

The complaint alleges that Instagram actively sought underage users and continued collecting their personal information, such as email addresses and locations, which goes against US laws prohibiting data collection on children under 13. Each such violation carries fines of up to $50,120, or Rs 41.67 lakh.

If proven, Meta could face substantial fines for failing to take action against these underage accounts.

In response to the allegations, Meta in a statement said that the complaint misrepresents their efforts and cherrypicks from the reports.


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