Meta Reneged

Meta Reneged on Privacy Deal, FTC Says: Data Privacy Trends

Just reported! The FTC said that Meta reneged on their privacy deal and moved towards imposing even more stringent privacy rules.

As reported by Forbes (FTC Says Meta Reneged On Privacy Deal, Proposes Company Can No Longer Make Money Off Of Kids, written by Cyrus Farivar and available here), the Federal Trade Commission took a significant, sweeping step today towards imposing even more stringent privacy rules against Meta, Facebook’s parent company. The FTC now says Meta violated previous legal arrangements, which imposed rules on Meta’s ability to collect data about and monetize its users.

If the new proposed changes are enacted by the FTC, Meta would soon be “prohibited from profiting” from users under 18. This rule would apply to all of its properties and apps, including Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and WhatsApp.


Additionally, Meta would be required to “pause” all new services and products without an approval from an FTC official. Meta would also be ordered to “disclose and obtain users’ affirmative consent for any future uses of facial recognition technology.”

“Facebook has repeatedly violated its privacy promises,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said in a statement. “The company’s recklessness has put young users at risk, and Facebook needs to answer for its failures.”

Meta now has 30 days to formally respond. Then, the FTC will decide whether to approve these newly-proposed changes to the previous 2020 privacy order. Meta could appeal the ruling to any federal appeals court if it chooses to, which it indicated it might.

In that 2020 privacy order, Facebook was required to make numerous changes. Those included having increased privacy monitoring both inside and outside the company – creating an independent privacy committee on the company’s board of directors and expanding the ability of a “third-party assessor” to conduct outside investigations into Facebook’s possible privacy violations. In addition, Facebook was also prevented from using telephone numbers used in two-factor authentication for advertising purposes, among other restrictions.

After a recent review, the federal agency found that Facebook was in violation of not only the 2020 order – for which company had to pay a $5 billion penalty – but also an earlier 2012 privacy order that had no monetary penalty but did require other changes. In that instance, the FTC found that Facebook “deceived consumers” when it told users that they could keep some personal profile information private, but in fact, allowed that data to be shared with advertisers.

So, what do you think? Are you surprised that the FTC says that Meta reneged on not just one, but two privacy orders? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.


  1. I read the entire order. Where to begin … 🤦‍♂️

    I have no opinion on where and how much Meta is really in breach of the 2020 order.

    But how … exactly … can Meta “be prohibited from releasing new or modified products, services, or features”? It pushes new code thousands of times a day, and therein new products, services and features.

    ‘You can’t launch new stuff’ would be coherent, but ‘you can’t change *anything*’ is not.

    It’s like when the EU said messaging apps had to allow ‘any’ third party to interconnect and give them ‘all’ of their internal data.

    So, if the Chinese government makes an app, we have to give it all of our user data? Did you think that through?

    Why lawyers love 🤡 regulators. The gift that never stops giving.

Leave a Reply