(Bloomberg) -- Meta Platforms Inc. is asking a federal court to bar the Federal Trade Commission from moving forward with an agency proceeding to revise its 2020 privacy settlement.
The FTC’s 2020 settlement with Meta, then known as Facebook, was approved by Judge Timothy Kelly in Washington and only the court can add provisions such as banning facial recognition, Meta said in court papers Wednesday.
“This court — not the FTC — has exclusive jurisdiction,” Meta said in a filing seeking an injunction to stop the commission proceeding. “The FTC seeks to substitute itself for this court by taking ‘further enforcement action’ and ‘modifying’” the settlement.
As part of the 2020 settlement, the company agreed to pay a $5 billion penalty and make changes to its internal privacy checks, including increased responsibility for the company’s board and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to protect user data.
On May 3, the FTC said Meta has repeatedly violated its privacy promises and opened an internal proceeding to modify the 2020 settlement. The agency said it would change the earlier settlement to ban Meta’s use of facial recognition tools or monetizing children’s data.
Meta alleges in its filing that those changes go beyond what the FTC could seek in federal court and that’s why they are attempting to make the revisions in house.
“The consent order is clear that only the federal court, not the FTC, can enforce or modify it, and the FTC is bound to comply with its terms,” Meta spokesperson Dina El-Kassaby Luce said in a statement.
Kelly, a Trump nominee, approved the settlement between the FTC and Meta in April 2020 but criticized the company for “systemic oversight failures” and “grossly insufficient transparency and accountability” by executives.
“The court might well have fashioned different remedies were it doing so out of whole cloth after a trial,” Kelly wrote, but the FTC’s proposed settlement was “reasonable.”
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