Researchers from the Consumers’ Association checked which options Facebook, Instagram, Signal, Snapchat, Telegram, TikTok, WhatsApp and YouTube offer children and parents to make the platform a safe environment.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok create profiles of young users and tailor content and advertisements to personal characteristics. Snapchat and TikTok are going the furthest in this regard. They also base their advertisements on the behavior of children in the app and on their location.
Only Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube set the profile of young users to private by default. Only 2 providers, Facebook and Instagram, offer the possibility to track screen time and set a maximum time per day. And parental controls are only possible with TikTok and YouTube. For this, parents must first install the app themselves, after which the company also collects data from them.
Half of the apps make it too difficult for users to delete their data by canceling their account. With Snapchat, Instagram and Telegram, this must be done via the website. It is not clear at TikTok whether the service removes all personal data.
Sandra Molenaar, director of the Consumers’ Association, does not think that children should get rid of social media: ‘That is not the solution. But the fact is that the platforms in their current form are not a safe environment for children. That has to change. And we can’t leave that to tech companies, because they show time and again that they can’t do it. So additional rules are needed to better protect children. The best interests of children should already be taken into account in the design of the apps. This is also described in the code for children’s rights, to which we have expressed our support.’
Consumers’ Association: ‘Social media unsuitable for children’
Source link Consumers’ Association: ‘Social media unsuitable for children’