Facebook's handling of kids' data on Instagram faces probe in Ireland
December 1, 2020

Facebook’s handling of children’s data on Instagram comes under probe in Ireland

DUBLIN (IRELAND) – Ireland has initiated two investigations into Facebook Inc after there were concerns about the manner in which the social networking firm handled children’s personal data on Instagram.

The Data Protection Commission, which is the major online information regulator in the EU, received complaints from users and found “potential concerns” in the manner in which Instagram processed children’s information, said Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle in a statement.

He said both probes were launched last month.

The investigation was first reported by The Telegraph, which said the social media platform made the email addresses and phone numbers of users under 18 public.

The probe was launched by the Irish watchdog after David Stier, a US data scientist, raised the issue, said the Telegraph added.

The investigation will explore whether Facebook has the legal authority to process data and if it employs adequate protections and curbs on Instagram, which it owns.

“This inquiry will also consider whether Facebook meets its obligations as a data controller with regard to transparency requirements in its provision of Instagram to children,” Doyle said.

The second probe will be into Instagram’s profile and account settings and it will scrutinise if the social media platform is complying with the regulator’s data protection norms.

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