Meta will now be subject to increased restrictions on the use of facial recognition technology, and additional security measures must be provided for its users. These adjustments will prohibit Meta from profiting from data collected from minors, including data obtained through virtual reality products. There will be a ban on monetizing data from children and adolescents under 18, a pause in launching new products and services, and an extension of compliance to merged companies. Existing requirements will also be tightened.
Facebook has responded with claims of unfair persecution. The social media giant argued that the FTC is attempting to usurp Congressional authority to set industry-wide standards and has accused the agency’s Chair of trying to counter American business with “any measures, however unreasonable.”
The 2020 Privacy Ordinance required Facebook to pay a $5 billion civil fine and expanded the privacy program, including an independent third-party evaluator to assess the program’s effectiveness. Facebook must now conduct a privacy assessment of any new or changed product, service, or process before implementation and document its mitigation decisions.
The FTC has demanded that Facebook respond to accusations that it misrepresented the degree of control parents had over their children’s communication in the Messenger Kids product. Although Facebook promised that only parents-approved contacts could communicate with children, some children could share with unapproved contacts in group text chats and video calls. The FTC says these misstatements violated the 2012 order, the FTC Act, and the COPPA Rule, which requires operators of websites or online services for children under 13 to notify parents and obtain verified parental consent before collecting children’s data.
The FTC has formally required Meta to respond within 30 days to the proposed changes as part of the agency’s investigation, beginning a process in which Meta will have the opportunity to respond. The Federal Trade Commission will then review Meta’s facts and arguments and determine whether the change to the 2020 order is in the public interest or justified by changed factual or statutory conditions.