The Privacy Guarantor wants to see clearly about the presence of minors on Facebook and Instagram

The Privacy Guarantor wants to see clearly about the presence of minors on Facebook and Instagram

The procedure after the death of the little girl from Palermo, who also had profiles on these two platforms. We investigate how to check the age of subscribers

(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images) Facebook and Instagram also end up under the lens of the Italian Data Protection Authority (Gpdp) . As happened for TikTok, the reasons that prompted the authority to open a file on the two social networks are linked to the protection of minors online and to the verification of the age of the members.

The measure starts from the case of the girl from 10 years died in Palermo after choking on a belt. In reconstructing the dynamics, the fact was linked to a "challenge" on TikTok which would consist in self-inflicting suffocation (called "blackout challenge"), a hypothesis to be verified, which is now being examined by the prosecutor who is investigating the case and so far it is not reflected in the videos published on the platform.

From some press articles it emerges that the girl also had profiles on Facebook and Instagram. The Guarantor then asked Menlo Park to clarify how a 10-year-old girl was able to subscribe to social networks, when the age limit is 13.

The file opened by the Authority asks Facebook to specify the functioning of the registration procedure on its platforms in order to verify whether the controls on the real age of the user are sufficient to keep minors off the platforms.

Menlo Park now has 15 days to provide a complete answer. This verification will also be extended to other platforms, paying particular attention to access methods. A Facebook spokesperson said: “In this tragic moment, our deepest condolences go out to the little girl's family. Security and privacy are top priorities for Facebook and Instagram. We will fully collaborate with the Privacy Authority ".

[article updated with Facebook's statement]

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