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Meta has ‘threatened to delete’ important data in case alleging underage users were exposed to predators: AG

New court filings say Meta has stolen sensitive data from test accounts mentioned in a New Mexico bombshell lawsuit that alleges underage Facebook and Instagram users are exposed to child predators. “He threatened to delete it,” he said.

New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez said in a Monday filing that Meta had “deactivated” several test accounts used by law enforcement to investigate the popular app.

According to the filing, Torrez will restrain Meta from deleting “any information related to the accounts referenced in the complaint or any information related to any account on which Meta has taken action based on the information in the complaint.” They are seeking a court order.

“The state filed this motion seeking an order requiring Meta to comply with its data retention obligations under New Mexico law,” the filing states.

The attorneys also cited New Mexico court precedent against destroying relevant evidence.

New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez said Meta had “deactivated” several test accounts used by law enforcement to investigate Instagram and Facebook. AP

Amazing lawsuit filed last weekAccording to the report, the test accounts used AI-generated photos that allegedly depicted children under the age of 14, and contained adult-oriented sexual content and content, including “genital photos and videos” and six offers. He said he was bombarded with unpleasant messages from alleged child predators. Pay to appear in porn videos.

Meta subsequently disabled these accounts. This allegedly hindered the ongoing investigation by denying authorities access to critical information “including the usernames of accounts with which investigators interacted, as well as search history and other information about those accounts.” That's what it means.

It is unclear whether Meta has shut down the Facebook and Instagram accounts of the alleged child offenders.

Meta has been accused by the New Mexico AG's office of failing to protect underage users. AFP (via Getty Images)

“Of course, we store data in accordance with our legal obligations,” a Meta spokesperson said.

Torres' office did not comment on Monday's filing.

In New Mexico, a test account called “Issa Bee” claiming to be a 13-year-old girl living in Albuquerque had more than 6,700 followers on Facebook, most of whom were “males between the ages of 18 and 40.” ” he claimed. -age.

The account has received several disturbing sexual offers, including one from an adult user who allegedly “openly promised $5,000 a week to be his 'sugar baby'.” was.

According to the state, Meta notified the company on December 7, the day after the lawsuit was filed, that it would disable the test account.

The social media giant said: “Even though the account in question had been operating for several months without any action by Meta, and law enforcement had previously reported unlawful and unlawful content to Meta through reporting channels. Despite this, the company took this action, the filing states.

When the investigator tried to log in, he received a message warning that his account had been “deactivated.”

The message states that you have 30 days to request a review before your account is “permanently disabled.”

State attorneys contacted them the same day and asked for confirmation that Meta would “preserve all data” associated with the account, according to the filing.

Meta's lawyers reportedly responded that the company “takes reasonable steps to identify the accounts referred to in the complaint and preserve relevant data and information regarding those accounts once identified.”

The state said Meta did not respond to requests for details about what data from accounts it deemed “relevant” and what data it would not keep.

“Given Meta's refusal to preserve 'all data' related to the accounts mentioned in the complaint, a court order is required to preserve this critical evidence for trial.” is stated in the submitted documents.

In October, a group of 33 state agencies sued Meta for targeting young users. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named as a defendant in the New Mexico lawsuit.

State officials allege that Mr. Zuckerberg's product design decisions played a key role in putting underage users at risk.

Meta has not yet responded specifically to the lawsuit's allegations.

“We use advanced technology, employ child safety experts, report content to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and communicate information and tools with other companies and law enforcement agencies, including state attorneys general. to help root out looters,” Mehta said. Statement to the Wall Street Journal after the lawsuit was filed.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named as a defendant in a New Mexico lawsuit. AP

The New Mexico lawsuit is separate from a larger lawsuit filed by 33 state attorneys general in October.

The states allege that Meta intentionally made the app addictive to trap young users and collected personal data from underage users in violation of federal law.

Mr Mehta has denied any wrongdoing.

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