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Mark Zuckerberg argues Apple and Google should handle app parental consent, not Meta.

In today’s congressional internet safety hearing, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg again rejected the concept that companies like his should manage parental permission mechanisms for kids’ usage of Facebook and Instagram. He stated that app store providers like Apple and Google should fix the issue.

Meta has proposed this before. The firm proposed in November that Apple and Google need parental consent for 13- to 15-year-old app downloads to protect youngsters and teenagers.

According to The Washington Post, Meta’s global head of safety, Antigone Davis, said this would be the “best way” to help parents and kids and should be implemented “industry-wide,” where “all apps are held to the same, consistent standard.”

Despite the enormous popularity of its social networking services—3.14 billion people used them daily as of October’s Q3 2023 results—Meta aims to compete on an even playing field with its rivals. That exceeds Snapchat’s 406 million daily active users in Q3 and X’s 500 million+ monthly active users.

Zuckerberg stated in today’s hearing that Meta’s research showed parents desired more control over cellphones and app stores.

“I don’t think parents should have to upload an ID to prove that they’re the parent of a child in every single app that their children use,” he added, arguing that it would protect user privacy.

“And a place where it’d actually be very easy for it to work is within the app stores themselves, where my understanding is that Apple and Google already—or at least Apple already—require parental consent when a child makes a payment with an app,” Zuckerberg joked, referring to Apple’s requirement that apps use its payment methods. “So it should be pretty easy to pass a law that requires them to give parents control whenever a child downloads an app and consents,” he added.

Meta’s idea cleverly uses Apple’s desire to benefit from app store apps against them. Apple now charges 15% to 30% commission on iOS app in-app purchases, depending on business size and other criteria. Meta is arguing that if Apple wants to process all iOS app payments at Meta’s expense, then parental approval over app usage should be Apple’s responsibility.

“I think that’s the type of legislation, in addition to some of the other ideas you all have, that would make this a lot easier for parents,” Zuckerberg said.

Meta and Apple have been at war since Apple entered the advertising industry with App Tracking Transparency, a consumer privacy precaution. Meta’s advertising business and earnings would suffer if users requested applications not to monitor them. App developers would need more App Store Search advertisements to reach users.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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