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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

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When Mailchimp recently agreed to be acquired by Intuit for $12 billion, we noted how it was the richest sale ever of a private bootstrapped company. Now we know more about why the Atlanta-based email marketing company never took outside funding.

The big picture: Mailchimp founder and CEO Ben Chestnut tells Axios that it was all about timing.

"Noticias Telemundo" names Julio Vaqueiro as new anchor

Julio Vaqueiro. Photo: Noticias Telemundo

Emmy award-winning journalist Julio Vaqueiro will become the new anchor of "Noticias Telemundo," the network's daily Spanish-language evening newscast, Noticias Telemundo announced Thursday.

The big picture: Vaqueiro replaces José Díaz-Balart, who is returning to MSNBC later this month to host a new show as NBC seeks to add more diverse voices to its English-language news programs.

Al Gore's Climate TRACE finds vast undercounts of emissions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A high-tech independent effort to track greenhouse gas emissions from every country, industrial facility and power plant announced its first results on Monday.

Why it matters: Climate TRACE utilizes satellite data, machine learning and artificial intelligence to determine greenhouse gas emissions globally. It aims usher in an era of "radical transparency" and a more enforceable climate agreement by giving nonprofits, governments and the UN actionable intelligence to track and crack down on polluters.