The FTC took unprecedented action yesterday when it moved to impose what it describes as a “blanket prohibition” preventing the company from monetizing young people’s data. The FTC contends that this prohibition is warranted as a result of repeated violations of Meta’s 2020 consent order (“Proposed Order”).
In taking this action, the FTC is relying on its administrative authority to “reopen and modify” orders to address alleged order violations, rather than to press its compliance case in federal court under the FTC Act. In doing so, the FTC seeks to significantly expand the scope and duration of the existing order to cover new conduct. Even against recent examples of aggressive FTC action (see examples here, here, and here), this one markedly stands out. And, in the face of mounting agency losses in challenges to its enforcement authority in Axon and AMG and its aftermath, the Proposed Order is extraordinary.
The Commission voted 3-0 to issue the Proposed Order and accompanying Order to Show Cause. Commissioner Bedoya issued a statement expressing reservations about the “monetization” restrictions described below, specifically questioning whether the provision related to minors’ data is sufficiently related to either the 2012 or 2020 violations or order. Meta has 30 days to answer the FTC’s proposal.
Continue Reading FTC Attempts End Run to Ban Meta from “Monetizing” Minors’ Data