Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has requested a federal court to block the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) effort to impose new sanctions for alleged privacy violations.

On 3 May, 2023, the FTC suggested tightening Facebook’s privacy agreement to include limiting the use of facial recognition and banning the company from profiting off children’s data. 

The FTC accused Facebook of purposefully misleading parents about its protections for children saying that Meta breached a 2019 agreement on privacy by being vague about how much access the app developers had to private data.

Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, said Facebook’s “recklessness has put young users at risk,” adding that the company “needs to answer for its failures.”

But Meta hit back by questioning why the FTC was only focusing on Meta while leaving popular video-sharing app TikTok unregulated.

A spokesperson for Meta said: “Let’s be clear about what the FTC is trying to do: usurp the authority of Congress to set industry-wide standards and instead single out an American company while allowing Chinese companies, like TikTok, to operate without constraint on American soil.”

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“FTC Chair Lina Khan’s insistence on using any measure — however baseless — to antagonise American business has reached a new low,” the spokesperson added. 

According to the Financial Times, Meta has 30 days to respond to the proposal.