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Meta facing scrutiny from FTC, EU and oversight board

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Meta is finding itself in multiple crosshairs at the same time this week. Facebook’s parent company is facing challenges from the U.S. government, European Union and its own oversight board.

Meta vs. the FTC

In a huge antitrust case Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission will try to convince a judge to block Meta’s $400 million purchase of virtual reality startup Within. The FTC plans to argue the acquisition could hurt future competition as Meta bolsters its metaverse ambitions.

That’s a new stretch for President Joe Biden’s antitrust team since most legal antitrust cases hinge on current market conditions.

Meta could come out on top on this one. In fact, liberal FTC chair Lina Khan reportedly overruled her staff to pursue this case, but she does have the backing of 23 states who filed a brief in support of the challenge.

Meta vs. the EU

Across the pond, the EU is cracking down on Meta’s targeted ads. In a closely watched data protection case, Reuters reports the forthcoming ruling means Meta will only be able to use personal data for advertisements with explicit user consent, meaning the company can’t just tuck it into terms and conditions. 

This goes beyond Apple’s opt-in function that Meta already struggles against. The European Data Protection Board ruling would apply to data collected within Meta’s apps, while Apple’s privacy feature only lets users opt out of cross-platform tracking.

This past year, Meta has tried to convince users to opt for targeted ads with its “Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found” campaign.

Meta vs. oversight board

Within its own ranks, Meta’s oversight board ruled this week it needs to overhaul its Xcheck, or “cross check,” program. It’s a system that secretly exempted millions of high profile users from normal enforcement rules on Facebook and Instagram.

The independent body has been reviewing the practice since whistleblower Frances Haugen exposed it in a leak to the Wall Street Journal last year. For instance, the leaked documents exposed that, in 2019, the system blocked content moderators from being able to quickly remove nude photos of a woman posted by Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar against her will.

Meta’s oversight board made 32 recommendations to the company, including identifying which accounts are part of cross check. Meta is not bound to the recommendations of its oversight board.

META IS FINDING ITSELF IN MULTIPLE CROSSHAIRS AT THE SAME TIME THIS WEEK.

IN A HUGE U-S ANTITRUST CASE THURSDAY, THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION WILL TRY TO CONVINCE A JUDGE TO BLOCK META’S $400 MILLION DOLLAR PURCHASE OF VIRTUAL REALITY STARTUP WITHIN.

THE FTC PLANS TO ARGUE THE ACQUISITION COULD HURT FUTURE COMPETITION AS META BOLSTERS ITS METAVERSE AMBITIONS. THAT’S A NEW STRETCH FOR BIDEN’S ANTITRUST TEAM, SINCE MOST LEGAL CASES HINGE ON CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS.

META COULD COME OUT ON TOP ON THIS ONE. IN FACT, LIBERAL FTC CHAIR LINA KHAN REPORTEDLY OVERRULED HER STAFF TO PURSUE THIS CASE. BUT SHE DOES HAVE THE BACKING OF 23 STATES WHO FILED A BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF THE CHALLENGE.

ACROSS THE POND, THE E-U IS CRACKING DOWN ON META’S TARGETED ADS. IN A CLOSELY WATCHED DATA PROTECTION CASE, REUTERS REPORTS THE FORTHCOMING RULING MEANS META WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO USE PERSONAL DATA FOR ADS WITH EXPLICIT USER CONSENT. SO THEY CAN’T JUST TUCK IT IN TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

THIS GOES BEYOND APPLE’S OPT-IN FUNCTION META ALREADY STRUGGLES AGAINST, SINCE THIS E-U RULING WOULD APPLY TO DATA COLLECTED WITHIN META’S APPS.

THIS PAST YEAR META HAS TRIED TO CONVINCE USERS TO OPT FOR TARGETED ADS WITH ITS “GOOD IDEAS DESERVE TO BE FOUND” CAMPAIGN.

AND WITHIN ITS OWN RANKS, META’S OVERSIGHT BOARD RULED THIS WEEK IT NEEDS TO OVERHAUL ITS CROSS CHECK PROGRAM. THAT’S THE SYSTEM THAT SECRETLY EXEMPTED MILLIONS OF HIGH PROFILE USERS FROM NORMAL ENFORCEMENT RULES ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM. THINK CELEBRITIES AND POLITICIANS.

THE INDEPENDENT BODY’S BEEN REVIEWING THE PRACTICE SINCE WHISTLEBLOWER FRANCES HAUGEN EXPOSED IT IN A LEAK TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL LAST YEAR.

FOR INSTANCE, IN 2019 THE SYSTEM BLOCKED MODERATORS FROM BEING ABLE TO QUICKLY REMOVE NUDE PHOTOS OF A WOMAN POSTED BY BRAZILIAN SOCCER SUPERSTAR NEYMAR AGAINST HER WILL.

META’S OVERSIGHT BOARD MADE 32 RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COMPANY, INCLUDING IDENTIFYING WHICH ACCOUNTS ARE PART OF CROSS CHECK.

META IS NOT BOUND TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF ITS OVERSIGHT BOARD.

IN NEW YORK FOR JUST BUSINESS I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO.

Meta is finding itself in multiple crosshairs at the same time this week. Facebook’s parent company is facing challenges from the U.S. government, European Union and its own oversight board.

Meta vs. the FTC

In a huge antitrust case Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission will try to convince a judge to block Meta’s $400 million purchase of virtual reality startup Within. The FTC plans to argue the acquisition could hurt future competition as Meta bolsters its metaverse ambitions.

That’s a new stretch for President Joe Biden’s antitrust team since most legal antitrust cases hinge on current market conditions.

Meta could come out on top on this one. In fact, liberal FTC chair Lina Khan reportedly overruled her staff to pursue this case, but she does have the backing of 23 states who filed a brief in support of the challenge.

Meta vs. the EU

Across the pond, the EU is cracking down on Meta’s targeted ads. In a closely watched data protection case, Reuters reports the forthcoming ruling means Meta will only be able to use personal data for advertisements with explicit user consent, meaning the company can’t just tuck it into terms and conditions. 

This goes beyond Apple’s opt-in function that Meta already struggles against. The European Data Protection Board ruling would apply to data collected within Meta’s apps, while Apple’s privacy feature only lets users opt out of cross-platform tracking.

This past year, Meta has tried to convince users to opt for targeted ads with its “Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found” campaign.

Meta vs. oversight board

Within its own ranks, Meta’s oversight board ruled this week it needs to overhaul its Xcheck, or “cross check,” program. It’s a system that secretly exempted millions of high profile users from normal enforcement rules on Facebook and Instagram.

The independent body has been reviewing the practice since whistleblower Frances Haugen exposed it in a leak to the Wall Street Journal last year. For instance, the leaked documents exposed that, in 2019, the system blocked content moderators from being able to quickly remove nude photos of a woman posted by Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar against her will.

Meta’s oversight board made 32 recommendations to the company, including identifying which accounts are part of cross check. Meta is not bound to the recommendations of its oversight board.

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