London: Facebook is collecting data on users under 18 years old, and tracking their page views and preferences for advertising purposes, a new study by advocacy groups Fairplay, Global Action Plan and Reset Australia shows.
In order to learn more about Facebook’s tracking practices, the study’s authors set up three accounts for a 13-year-old and two 16-year-olds. According to the study, the social network used its Facebook Pixel conversion tracking tool to collect data from all three accounts.
“Using this Facebook Pixel data, Facebook can collect data from other browser tabs and pages that children open, and harvest information like which buttons they click on, which terms they search or products they purchase or put in their basket (‘conversions’),” the study read, adding “there is no reason to store this sort of conversion data, except to fuel the ad delivery system.”
Meanwhile, over 40 advocacy groups have sent a letter to the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to end all surveillance advertising to minors, “including the use of artificial intelligence to optimise the delivery of specific ads to the young people most vulnerable to them.”
In late October, Facebook, whose products also include the apps Instagram, WhatsApp and the virtual reality brand Oculus, announced that it was changing its holding company’s name to Meta, in the wake of a series of scandals over alleged unethical practices.