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Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A coalition of groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission Thursday alleging that Facebook violated children's privacy and unfairly pushed them to make purchases in applications hosted on its platform.

Why it matters: The FTC is already investigating the social network’s privacy practices regarding the Cambridge Analytica data leak last year, in light of an earlier settlement it reached with the company.

Details: The organizations, including childhood media advocates Common Sense as well as other advocacy groups, are making two main charges:

  1. That Facebook violated the federal prohibition on “unfair” practice by deceiving kids into making purchases and then making it hard for them to get a refund. "Facebook took advantage of unsuspecting kids, one of whom employees referred to as a 'whale,' using casino parlance to refer to the child’s high volume of purchases,” their complaint says.
  2. That Facebook violated a major child privacy law.

The complaint follows the release of information about the purchases uncovered by Reveal, an investigative reporting outlet, through court documents in a case over the issue settled in 2016.

Yes, but: The FTC may not choose to start an investigation based on the complaint.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that the company offers tools to parents and "also has safeguards in place regarding minors' purchases."

  • "In 2016, we updated our terms and now provide dedicated resources for refund requests related to purchases made by minors on Facebook, including special training for our reviewers," per the statement.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to include Facebook's statement.

Go deeper

Schumer: Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

Why it matters: Trump is the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. The House voted to impeach the former president on Jan. 13 on a single charge: incitement of insurrection for the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in five deaths.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.