Children Online privacy is at stake due to a flaw in Messenger Kid’s app

Facebook is a platform for all genders and age groups. The team of Facebook is trying to bring updates to make the platform more secured for all age groups without the fear of violating anyone’s privacy.

There are millions of users on Facebook and some of them are under aged kids who need parent’s authorization for various activities on Facebook. Facebook launched a Messenger Kids app to help parents monitor their kids' activities and to only allow kids to chat with authorized users.

The flaw in the Facebook Messenger Kids app

Although Facebook’s Messenger Kids app helped a lot of parents to know about the activities of their children, Facebook unintentionally left a major loophole in it. According to TheVerge a flaw in this app can allow children to enter any chat groups with unapproved strangers.

The core purpose of Facebook’s Messenger Kids app was to only allow kids to talk to users approved by parents but any child can create a group with approved users and this can allow access of kids to unauthorized users via chat groups.

In a standard one-on-one chat, children can only communicate with users approved by the guarudians but the authorization became complex and this bug arose when multiple users were involved via chat groups. The person who launches the chat group can invite all authorized users in it even though others were not authorized to chat with other members in the group and the result of this bug was that thousands of kids entered chats with unauthorized users hence completely violating the core purpose of Messenger Kids.

Response from Facebook

Over the past week, Facebook has been shutting down groups like these and notifying users. The Verge obtained the alert that was sent by Facebook to parents and users with unauthorized group chats and Facebook confirmed that the alert was authentic and it’s been trying different strategies to completely shut these kinds of chats groups. The moment Facebook discovered this issue, parents were notified about this bug and Facebook has been turning off the affected chats and also providing parents with more resources on Messenger Kids and Online safety as well.

Bottom Line

Although the kids' app was launched in December 2017, it's not sure how long the bug has been present in the app but Facebook is attempting to end this bug as soon as possible because privacy flaw is a very crucial matter in terms of children under the age of 13. Facebook has been accused by multiple groups to violate Children privacy by collecting user data and this flaw can put a huge impact on Facebook.

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