Instagram head Adam Mosseri admitted to lawmakers that there was a loophole in a default privacy setting meant to protect teens on the platform.
For users under the age of 16, the company has said that newly created accounts are private — meaning other users must request to follow them in order to view their content — by default. But GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, ranking member of the subcommittee, said her office created an account for a hypothetical 15-year-old girl ahead of the hearing on the web browser version of Instagram and the account was set to public by default.
"Isn't the opposite supposed to happen?" Blackburn said "And have you considered turning off the public option altogether for minor accounts?"
Mosseri said he learned of the issue with the privacy default Wednesday morning, hours before the hearing.
It turns out that we default those under the age of 16 to private accounts for the vast majority of accounts, which are created on Android and iOS, but we have missed that on the web and we will correct that quickly," Mosseri said, skirting the second half of Blackburn's question.