EU Investigates Instagram Over Handling of children’s Data

  • Instagram is being investigated by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) over its handling of children’s personal data on the platform
  • The social media app’s owner Facebook could face a large fine if Instagram is found to have broken privacy laws
  • The investigations stem from complaints that Instagram made contact information on business accounts publicly visible to anyone accessing the app
  • The DPC is responsible for protecting the fundamental right of individual to have their personal data protected.
  • The Irish regulator is investigating whether Facebook has a legal basis for processing children’s personal data and if it employs adequate protections and restrictions on Instagram for children as well as inquiring into whether Facebook is adequately protecting the data protection rights of children as vulnerable persons.
  • The minimum age for having an Instagram account is 13

Prosecutors Given New Advice Over Dating Apps

  • Prosecutors in England and Wales are being given new guidance over nude selfies and dating apps in rape and sexual assault cases
  • Guidelines for Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers have been fully updated for the first time in eight years and include advice on challenging assumptions over victims sharing naked pictures or having met their attacker via a so-called hook-up app
  • The legal guidance, which comes into effect on 1st November, includes a list of 39 myths and stereotypes that prosecutors should be prepared to challenge when bringing a case to court
  • The list of false statements includes “If you send sexual images or messages prior to meeting someone, then having sex is inevitable” and “If you meet men online or through hook-up apps you want sex and should be ready to offer sex”
  • Siobhan Blake, the rape lead for the CPS, said explicit photos and use of such apps should not be taken as “blanket consent” for sexual contact.
  • She said: “The critical issue is around consent and the giving and understanding of consent…in essence, a person can send a naked selfie, for instance, one day, that is not any sort of blanket consent to a sexual encounter on another day.”

 Anti-Trump TikTok Accounts Fail to Declare Paid Content

  • TikTok has removed a number of videos after a BBC investigation showed creators were posting anti-Trump material without disclosing that they were paid for by a marketing company
  • The company, Bigtent Creative, funds skits and memes to persuade people to register, such as mixing rapper Cardi B’s WAP song with a message from her telling people to vote
  • Some of the videos it has paid for are non-partisan, but others call for President Trump to be voted out of office and in none of the videos do the creators disclose that they have been paid
  • TikTok bans political ads and requires people to declare paid-for content

Instagram Targets Rule Breaking Influencers

  • Instagram says it will do more to catch influencers who fail to disclose when they have been paid for their posts
  • It follows an investigation by a UK watchdog which found the platform was failing to protect consumers from being misled
  • Instagram will also report users who inadequately label their posts to the businesses whose products they endorse
  • In the UK, social-media stars have to make clear if they are being paid by a company to promote its business, often doing this by including the hashtag ‘#ad’ in such posts
  • Instagram’s new tools, which will be rolled out over the next year, include a prompt requiring influencers to confirm whether they have received incentives to promote a product or service before they can publish their post, and new algorithms built to spot potential advertising content