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US Appeals Court Rules Against Meta in FTC Privacy Probe

 |  March 13, 2024

In a blow to Meta, formerly known as Facebook, a U.S. appeals court has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can reopen its investigation into the social media giant’s privacy practices. The decision, handed down late on Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, rejects Meta’s objections that it had already settled the matter with a hefty fine and agreed to numerous safeguards.

The FTC aims to bolster the 2020 Facebook privacy settlement by imposing stricter measures, including prohibiting the exploitation of minors’ data and extending restrictions on facial recognition technology. Critically, the agency has accused Meta of deceiving parents regarding protections for children, reported Reuters.

Meta had sought to halt the FTC’s case while it pursues a separate lawsuit challenging the agency’s jurisdiction on constitutional grounds. However, the appeals court emphasized the significance of the FTC’s privacy concerns as they pertain to public interests. Moreover, it assured Meta of the opportunity to challenge any final action taken by the agency.

Related: Meta To Pull News From Facebook Over Canada’s Online News Act

Notably, the FTC clarified that the previous settlement, which introduced enhanced compliance and oversight protocols, did not intend to resolve all potential claims indefinitely.

The ruling comes amidst Meta’s broader legal battles, including a plethora of lawsuits in the United States alleging that the company has deliberately addicted children to its platforms. Additionally, the FTC has leveled accusations of monopolistic behavior in the personal social network market against Meta, a charge vehemently denied by the company.

Source: Reuters