A PYMNTS Company

Meta Plans Appeal Following Judge’s Ruling in Privacy Battle with FTC

 |  November 28, 2023

Meta Platforms, the parent company of popular social media platforms WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, has announced its intention to appeal a recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly in the ongoing privacy dispute with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The ruling denied Meta’s motion to have the dispute heard in court, allowing the FTC to pursue efforts to limit the company’s revenue generated from users under the age of 18.

The legal tussle centers around the question of whether an FTC judge or a district judge should determine if the FTC has the authority to unilaterally amend a prior consent decree, aiming to restrict Meta’s earnings from younger users. Meta argues that the court process would be more expedient if handled by a district judge. However, Judge Kelly’s recent decision has paved the way for the FTC to proceed, prompting Meta’s decision to appeal.

Read more: Meta Wins Ruling Against FTC In VR Purchase Case

The origins of the conflict trace back to May when the FTC proposed alterations to a 2019 settlement, which obligated Facebook (rebranded as Meta in 2021) to pay a $5 billion fine. The regulatory body also accused Meta of providing misleading information to parents regarding the degree of control they had over their children’s interactions on the Messenger Kids app, among other concerns.

The proposed amendments by the FTC include barring Meta from profiting from data collected on users below the age of 18, encompassing its virtual reality business. Additionally, Meta would face more extensive restrictions on the utilization of facial recognition technology.

Meta’s decision to appeal Judge Kelly’s ruling indicates the company’s commitment to challenging the FTC’s proposed restrictions on its business practices. The case is expected to advance to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, prolonging the legal battle and keeping the spotlight on the complex intersection of technology, privacy, and regulatory oversight.

Source: Reuters