The Federal Trade Commission should investigate whether Facebook knowingly broke the law when allegedly tricking children into spending their parent’s money on online games, according to a new complaint filed with the agency by advocacy groups including Common Sense Media. The complaint is based on a Reveal investigation from earlier this year showing that, according to unsealed court documents, Facebook duped children into spending money on games.
Facebook may have violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, federal law prohibiting “unfair or deceptive acts” in commerce, the complaint states, along with alleging Facebook could have skirted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. These types of complaints crop up after every major scandal involving companies like Facebook, but the timing of the complaint is significant as the FTC reportedly gets closer to settling with Facebook on a potentially multi-billion dollar fine over privacy violations. One major question about the investigation has been what other privacy flaps will the agency take into account before any settlement with Facebook.