Documents from 2012 concerning a Facebook mechanism that allowed kids to spend their parents’ money without their knowledge, has been unsealed to reveal that the social media giant had been aware of this all along.
A new report reveals that Facebook had let a system flourish where millions of dollars were spent by children, without their parents’ consent or even knowledge. All of this came to light when documents, were unsealed, amounting to more than 150 pages of depositions, analysis, internal reports, and evidence relating to a 2016 settled class action. The documents were unsealed as part of a motion that was filed in another new case involving Facebook. The unsealed documents relate to a 2012 case involving Facebook’s refund policies for in-app purchases made by kids without their parents’ consent or knowledge. In these documents from 2012, a timeline emerges, which seems to show how the social media site started opening up the site to kids, allowing them to make unauthorised purchases, amounting to millions.
According to the unsealed documents, from February 2008 to June 2014, Facebook made more than $28 million from unauthorized transactions made by kids living in the United States alone. These unsealed documents suggest that Facebook was aware of this system, which allowed kids to make purchases using their parents’ credit card, or PayPal details. Numerous tests were run regarding this system that allowed kids to make unauthorized purchases, and various internal experts suggested that changes be made to address the issue.
Based on the extensiveness of the documents that have now been unsealed, it’s safe to assume that Facebook was well aware of this flawed system within its site, and it can be argued that not enough was done by the social media giant to curb the millions that were spent in unauthorized purchases by kids.