WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), chair of the subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, released the following statement in response to Meta’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The lawsuit alleges that the agency’s internal adjudications process and the removal process for Commissioners violate the Constitution. The lawsuit follows the FTC’s allegations that Meta violated the terms of its 2020 privacy order with the Commission and a federal judge’s ruling that allows the FTC to modify the 2020 order. 

“Once again Meta (aka Facebook) is prioritizing profits over all else – over the safety of children, the privacy of its users, and compliance with the law. Repeatedly, Meta has violated its users’ privacy and deceived them about protections their data would have on its platforms. Despite being forced to pay a $5 billion fine in 2020, the FTC found earlier this year that Meta has continued to violate the commitments it made to safeguard user privacy and misled parents about their children’s use of its apps. In response, rather than complying with the law, Meta has decided to run to court complaining that the 110-year old FTC is unconstitutional. The court must reject any argument that would weaken the FTC’s ability to enforce critical laws that protect consumers.”

The Federal Trade Commission was established by the Federal Trade Commission Act in 1914 and is directed by Congress to enforce antitrust and consumer protection laws, protecting Americans from unfair and deceptive practices and unfair methods of competition. 

In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission entered into a privacy order with Meta (then known as Facebook), prohibiting the social media company from making misrepresentations about the privacy and security of users’ personal information and how it shares that information, as well as a requirement that Meta maintain a privacy program to protect user information. 

In 2019, the FTC announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement with Meta to resolve allegations the firm violated the 2012 privacy order. The 2019 allegations explained Meta had violated its legal commitments by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information. In 2020 FTC and Meta finalized a settlement for an updated privacy order with stronger restrictions and requirements on Meta over the use of user data.   

Earlier this year, the FTC alleged Meta violated the 2020 privacy order and proposed further strengthening it to safeguard users, including children, on Meta’s platforms.

Klobuchar is the sponsor of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), bipartisan legislation to stop dominant online platforms, like Meta, from favoring their own products and services, harming rivals, and engaging in anticompetitive and exploitative conduct against its users. AICOA promotes competition, innovation, and consumer choice in digital markets and gives antitrust enforcers updated tools to address market abuses by dominant big tech platforms. This legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 117th Congress and was reintroduced in June. 

Klobuchar is a cosponsor of Kids Online Safety Act of 2022 (KOSA), bipartisan legislation to require social media platforms to make safety the default and to give kids and parents tools to help prevent the destructive impact of social media. KOSA also ensures that parents and policymakers can assess whether social media platforms are taking meaningful steps to address risks to kids. This legislation passed the Senate Commerce Committee in July.

Klobuchar is also a cosponsor of the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0), bipartisan legislation to update online data privacy rules for the 21st century to ensure children and teenagers are protected online. This legislation passed the Senate Commerce Committee in July.