Messenger kids error for children
Facebook Messenger Kids, the app for children that only allows chats with users authorized by parents, opened the door to strangers for a mistake.
With privacy in smartphones increasingly in question and the growing concern in this area of a good part of the users, there are several companies that have been questioned. Of course, Facebook takes a lot of looks: cases of violation of privacy are notorious. And we have just heard of another; much more tricky as it concerns children.
Messenger Kids is an application developed exclusively for children that seek to offer parents a 100% secure conversation environment. It is not an app that has lavished excessively outside the United States; without diluting the seriousness of the latest Facebook error: it allowed conversing with strangers in Messenger Kids, just the opposite of what the messaging application is looking for.
Messenger Kids blocked unknown contacts in private chats, but not in groups
Parents who install Facebook Messenger Kids on their children’s mobile, in theory under 13 , enable a series of secure contacts with which their children can talk. The theory is that the application does not allow chats with people who are not in the small circle of authorized. The reality is that Facebook did not control group chats where unauthorized users had contact with the children.
A serious design error, as The Verge uncovered, allowed strangers to talk to children using Messenger Kids. As we said, in private chats there was never a problem: the application restricted the conversation to authorized contacts. Although, if an authorized contact opened a group chat with one of the children, and added strangers, they had the door open to chatting with the children, even if they were not authorized by the parents. The result was thousands of unwanted conversations that Facebook was forced to eliminate.
Facebook sent an alert to parents affected by the Messenger Kids design error :
« We found a technical error that allowed the friend (friend’s name) to create a group chat with (name of the child) and one or more of the friends approved by the parents of (friend’s name). We want you to know that we have deactivated this group chat and that we will ensure that group conversations like this are not allowed in the future . “
Facebook has disabled group conversations with contacts not authorized by the children’s parents. This is a serious error since the application is aimed at children under 13 years.