Oct. 5, 2018
Facebook Wants Instagram to Know Where You and Your Children Are At All Times – A Dangerous Precedent
Statement of Kristen Strader, Campaign Coordinator, Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert
Note: Published reports indicate that Instagram is testing the platform’s ability to share data on users’ exact location through their co-linked Facebook page even when they are offline. Instagram, owned by Facebook, wants to bring users greater levels of targeted advertising.
Facebook is seeking yet another way to commercialize our daily lives for the sake of corporate profits – and it’s the wrong move. As if the constant barrage of targeted advertising on both platforms wasn’t already overwhelming, Facebook is now considering a new feature for Instagram – which is owned by the company – that would share users’ location history data with Facebook for even greater levels of targeted advertising. The feature would allow Instagram to share users’ location history data even when users are not actively interacting with the app, a dangerous step towards corporate surveillance of our every move.
Even worse, Instagram is not even close to – nor interested in – perfecting its ability to prevent children under 13 from using the platform. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), data collection of children under 13, including location-based information, requires parental consent. The location information of children under 13 would undoubtedly be mixed up with that of older users, putting Instagram at risk of serious COPPA violations.
For the sake of abiding by children’s data protection rules and respecting the privacy of its users, Instagram should halt all plans to share user location history data with Facebook for targeted advertising.