Facebook increases parental control features in Messenger Kids app

February 4, 2020 - 6:35 PM
Facebook Messenger
Stock photo featuring the interface of Facebook's Messenger app. (Flickr/iphoneditigal)

Facebook Inc. said on Tuesday it plans to add new tools and features for parental control in its messaging app for users under the age of 13, months after questions rose about application’s privacy protection for children.

The new features will include access for parents to see their children’s chat history and will allow them to keep a track of the accounts which are blocked or unblocked on the application, the company said.

Parents can also see the most recent photos or videos sent and received in the app’s inbox, and can remove them if needed, Facebook added.

In August, Facebook acknowledged a flaw it fixed in Messenger Kids that allowed thousands of children to join group chats in which not all members of the group were approved by their parents.

Facebook has been under scrutiny by multiple governments over child safety protections on its suite of apps, especially since announcing its plan to extend end-to-end encryption across its messaging services last year.

Lawmakers warn strong encryption blocks them from accessing evidence of child abuse, protecting predators.

Facebook has not said whether Messenger Kids will be included in the encryption plan.

The company said on Tuesday it will also inform Messenger Kids users on the types of information others can see about them.

Reporting by Akshay Balan in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta