Science, Technology, and Social Media

Meta Challenges FTC’s Constitutional Authority In Legal Filing

Meta is suing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over it allegedly lacking constitutional backing to exercise further enforcement on the tech giant, according to a late Wednesday court filing.

The FTC reopened a child privacy enforcement order against Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, in May, but the tech giant contends it does not have the constitutional power to do so, according to the filing. The court should end the FTC’s enforcement action because it contradicts an agreement they settled in 2020, Meta asserted.

“Meta (formerly Facebook, Inc.) brings this Complaint to challenge the structurally unconstitutional authority exercised by the FTC through its Commissioners in an administrative reopening proceeding against Meta,” the lawsuit reads.

“Meta respectfully requests that this Court declare that certain fundamental aspects of the Commission’s structure violate the U.S. Constitution, and that these violations render unlawful the FTC Proceeding against Meta,” it continues. “Meta also respectfully requests that this Court permanently enjoin the FTC Proceeding.”

The FTC accused Meta of breaching the 2020 order by allegedly failing to safeguard the privacy of its young users, according to a May press release. Meta allegedly deceived parents about how much control they have over their children’s communications.

The FTC wants to change the 2020 order to block Meta from profiting off the data of its young users, among other provisions, according to the press release. The commission compelled Meta to pay a $5 billion civil penalty as part of the 2020 order.

“That obvious power grab—to unilaterally alter an agreed-upon, court-approved order through a prejudged administrative adjudication—provides perhaps the greatest example of the Commission’s structural defects resulting in an unconstitutional adjudication by fiat,” the lawsuit reads.

Meta did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. The FTC declined to comment.

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Jason Cohen

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