Age verification is becoming a big issue, and Meta has some suggestions for app stores on this matter. The tech giant wants app stores to implement the necessary regulations on not only age verification but also parental control. These regulations which will be put into effect by app stores will affect all social media platforms that they make available to users.
One might immediately think that this suggestion is a result of Meta’s seemingly carefree behaviour toward online child safety. Well, the company has some serious arguments to defend this suggestion that it’s making app stores. This will provide the same level of protection across various apps and not just Meta-owned social media apps.
Because age verification and parental control requirements are not the same in various states, there needs to be a standard. Meta on its own can’t provide this standard and might fall back on its implementation of regulations to protect children online. For this reason, the company argues that the issue be tackled from the root source, app stores.
Do app stores have what it takes to implement age verification and parental control regulations like Meta says?
From state to state, the requirements for age verification and parental control on social media apps vary. This might pose a challenge for Meta when trying to effect these regulations across its line of social media apps. Currently, social media apps are tasked with the responsibility of verifying a user’s age to determine whether they are suitable to be on the app.
But now Meta is hoping to shift this responsibility to app stores like the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The tech giant says that app stores should allow parents to approve the apps their children download. They should also be able to verify the data their children provide on these apps while in the installation process.
Already, there is federal legislation that requires teens under 16 years to get consent from a parent before downloading an app. This will allow parents to decide what apps are good for their children’s consumption and what apps aren’t. From here, Meta can hold up its end and protect young users of their social media platforms from harmful content.
With this, Meta points out the need for age verification and parental control to be a collective effort. At this moment, most states in the US aren’t holding app stores responsible for age verification and parental control. Possibly they might consider Meta’s suggestions and require the process to start from app stores.