In the ongoing legal clash between Meta Platforms and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a pivotal moment is approaching as Judge Randall Moss announces a hearing on Meta’s request to temporarily block the FTC from reopening a 2019 privacy agreement. The judge has slated arguments for January 29, allowing both parties to present their cases.
This legal skirmish traces its roots back to May, when the FTC accused Meta of deceptive practices, particularly in relation to the Messenger Kids app. The agency proposed modifications to a 2019 consent agreement, which initially led to Facebook, rebranded as Meta in 2021, paying a substantial $5 billion penalty. The proposed changes include prohibiting Meta from monetizing its services targeted at young users and expanding restrictions on facial recognition technology.
In response, Meta has called for a pause in the FTC proceedings until a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the agreement’s reopening is resolved. This move sets the stage for a pivotal legal battle, highlighting the company’s reluctance to accept the proposed alterations to its business practices.
This lawsuit is just one facet of the broader conflict between Meta and the FTC, reflecting the regulatory body’s efforts to champion privacy and competition within the realm of Big Tech. Meta’s counteractions, including a separate appeal against a judge’s decision on the choice of adjudicator, emphasize the high-stakes nature of this legal tussle.