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Dad warns of potential privacy dangers for children in popular music app

5 years 1 month 1 week ago Thursday, August 24 2017 Aug 24, 2017 August 24, 2017 2:06 PM August 24, 2017 in News
Source: ABC
By: WBRZ Staff

ILLINOIS, Batavia- An Illinois father is speaking out and warning other parents about the potential privacy risks of the popular app Musical.ly, after he says a stranger asked his 7-year-old daughter to send shirtless pictures of herself through the app's messaging feature.

"She came to us and let us know that there was someone asking her to remove clothing for pictures, and she knew it wasn't right," Brad Frakes told ABC News.

He says his daughter Madison had a run-in with the stranger while using the app, which lets users create their own music videos.

Frakes said that his daughter does not have her own phone or tablet, and only used the app through his phone. He said he did not know that strangers could message his daughter through the app, let alone solicit inappropriate photos.

On their website, Musical.ly outlines in their "For Parents" page that it "prohibits use of the app by anyone under the age of 13."

They also outline how to activate enhanced privacy settings, stating, "If you'd like to make sure that only approved followers can see your teen's videos, we recommend setting his/her profile to private by electing 'private account' in the settings page on the App. If you'd like to make sure that only approved followers can send messages via direct.ly, we recommend enabling the 'only friends can direct.ly me' on the settings page.”

Frakes posted screenshots of the exchange between the stranger, who identified only as "Jessy" on the app, and his daughter, on his Facebook page in an attempt to warn other parents. He also filed a complaint with his local police department following the incident.

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