Meta Platforms has been accused by the Federal Trade Commission of violating privacy promises made to US regulators. As a consequence, there is a possibility that the government may impose a ban on the launch of new social-media products unless an independent review is conducted.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has been subject to an FTC order for over 10 years. In 2019, it paid a $5 billion fine for privacy violations and entered into a new settlement that increased the board’s responsibility to protect user data.
“The company’s recklessness has put young users at risk, and Facebook needs to answer for its failures,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a news release.
As per the 2020 order, an independent third-party assessor was appointed to assess Meta’s compliance with privacy regulations. This includes conducting privacy reviews for new products and placing restrictions on the usage of facial recognition data and phone numbers.
The assessor provided the FTC with a report that revealed various shortcomings and violations. The Commission acknowledged that these deficiencies pose significant risks to the public.
Facebook made a commitment in 2018 to revoke app developers’ access to users’ data if they had not used the app in 90 days. However, according to the FTC, this did not occur, and some data was still accessible in 2020.