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US Court Rules Against Meta Platforms’ Delay in FTC Privacy Probe

 |  March 31, 2024

The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled against the Facebook’s attempts to delay the reopening of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe into alleged privacy failures. The decision comes amidst Meta’s pursuit of a lawsuit challenging the authority of the FTC, as reported by Reuters.

The court, based in Washington, DC, stated in its order that Meta had failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success in its challenge and had not met the necessary burden to warrant an injunction pending appeal. This ruling follows a previous denial by the same appeals court panel on March 12, rejecting Meta’s request to pause the FTC’s probe, which was initiated last year.

The FTC’s investigation aims to tighten the terms of a 2020 privacy settlement with Facebook, now Meta, particularly focusing on prohibiting the exploitation of minors’ data and expanding restrictions on facial recognition technology. The regulatory agency has accused Meta of providing misleading information to parents regarding protections for children.

Related: Meta Wins Ruling Against FTC In VR Purchase Case

Meta, however, has vehemently denied these allegations, asserting that the FTC’s actions violate its constitutional rights, including its right to a trial by jury. The company filed a lawsuit against the FTC in November, challenging the agency’s dual role as both an investigative body and an adjudicative one.

Friday’s ruling by the D.C. Circuit addresses Meta’s appeal of a prior order issued on March 15 by U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss, who refused to halt the FTC’s ongoing probe into the company’s privacy practices.

This legal battle underscores the increasing scrutiny faced by major tech companies regarding their handling of user data and privacy protections. With Meta’s challenge to the FTC’s authority facing repeated setbacks in court, the outcome of this dispute will have significant implications for the future regulation of the tech industry’s privacy practices.
Source: Reuters