October 2020: 2 more probes were opened by Facebook’s lead data regulator in Europe, this time about how the Instagram platform processes children’s information.
Earlier reported by the Telegraph, this was made by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) more than a year after a US data scientist reported concerns to Instagram about leaking the contact information of minors.
Details of the investigation were published by David Stier last year, when Instagram allegedly had failed to make changes to prevent minors’ data being accessible.
According to his reports, children who changed their Instagram account settings to a business account had their contact info (such as an email address and phone number) displayed via the platform — arguing that “millions” of children had had their contact information exposed.
For its part, Facebook counters Stier’s version of the issue —
saying it has always made it clear that contact info is shown if users choose to switch to a business account on Instagram. It also allows them to refuse to display their contact info if they switch to a business account.
In other news, an inquiry on Instagram influencers by the UK’s
Competition and Markets Authority found the platform is failing to protect consumers from being misled.
According to BBC, Instagram will roll out new tools over the next year including a prompt for influencers to confirm whether they have received incentives to advertise a product or service before they can publish a post, as well as other new algorithms built to spot potential advertising content.