Italy quizzes Facebook after TikTok child death row


Italy’s data protection agency asked Facebook, the social media giant which controls messaging service Instagram, to provide further information and explain, if the girl did have profiles on those sites, how they were obtained. — AP

ROME: Italy’s privacy watchdog said on Jan 27 it was probing how minors access Facebook and Instagram, after taking action against TikTok following the death of a 10-year-old girl.

The child died in a Sicilian hospital after allegedly taking part in a challenge on video-sharing network TikTok, despite its terms and conditions stating that users must be at least 13.

Italy’s data protection agency last week blocked access to the network for users whose age could not be verified.

And following media reports that the girl also had accounts on other social networks, the watchdog said on Wednesday that it had “opened a file on Facebook and Instagram”.

It asked Facebook, the social media giant which controls messaging service Instagram, to provide further information and explain, if she did have profiles on those sites, how they were obtained.

Like TikTok – owned by Chinese company ByteDance – Facebook and Instagram require users to be at least 13.

“Above all, it has asked for precise information on how to register for the two social networks and on the age checks carried out,” the watchdog said.

Facebook now has 15 days to respond.

The watchdog had in December filed a lawsuit against TikTok alleging a “lack of attention to the protection of minors” and criticising the ease with which very young children could sign up. – AFP

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