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Meta Urges Emergency Injunction Against FTC Privacy Hearing

 |  March 19, 2024

Meta Platforms has sought an emergency injunction from a federal appeals court to halt an ongoing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in-house hearing. The hearing, which could potentially lead to a ban on monetizing teenagers’ data, has sparked a legal skirmish between the social media giant and the regulatory authority.

In papers filed with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, Meta Platforms expressed confidence in its appeal, asserting that it is likely to succeed on the merits. The company’s legal argument challenges the constitutionality of FTC in-house hearings, alleging that the commission’s dual role as both prosecutor and judge presents a significant risk of bias. Meta Platforms further contends that historical precedents and recent Supreme Court deliberations question the FTC’s enforcement powers in administrative proceedings.

The urgency of Meta’s appeal comes in the wake of a recent setback in the U.S. District Court, where Judge Randolf Moss denied the company’s request to derail the FTC’s hearing. Judge Moss referenced previous Supreme Court rulings that upheld similar arrangements, including a case nearly five decades ago involving a state medical board’s authority to adjudicate misconduct allegations against doctors.

Related:  Meta Wins Ruling Against FTC In VR Purchase Case

However, Meta Platforms highlights the evolving legal landscape, pointing to the Supreme Court’s current deliberations on limiting federal agencies’ enforcement authority. Notably, the company stresses the potential for irreparable harm if compelled to participate in a proceeding that might later be deemed unconstitutional.

This latest legal maneuver marks a significant escalation in the protracted battle between Meta Platforms and the FTC, which traces back to May when the regulatory body proposed modifications to a 2020 settlement. The original settlement, stemming from allegations related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other data privacy breaches, required Meta Platforms to pay a hefty fine of $5 billion and implement enhanced privacy oversight measures.

Source: Media Post