The ad tech giant is facing a new legal headache as it faces allegations of violating federal privacy laws by targeting users with advertisements.
The Justice Department has filed a civil suit against Facebook, claiming the tech giant unfairly targeted users with targeted ads, even when the ads didn’t explicitly target Facebook users.
The complaint alleges Facebook misled users by “deceptively and intentionally” targeting them with ads.
Facebook has responded to the Justice Department’s complaint by saying it takes the privacy of its users seriously.
In a statement, Facebook said the company’s ads “do not target individuals based on their names, addresses, or other personally identifiable information.”
“We take these allegations very seriously and will vigorously defend ourselves in any legal proceedings,” Facebook said.
The tech giant has previously been accused of targeting users based on demographic information.
But that case is now in its third week, with the Justice Dept. still looking for proof that Facebook targeted users based solely on their gender.
In the latest case, Facebook says it was targeting the gender of a user based on her last name and gender.
“The allegations that Facebook had used this discriminatory targeting against gender-diverse users to target individuals of gender identity or gender expression were not substantiated by the information available at the time the content was shared,” Facebook’s statement said.
“This is a huge mistake.”
The Justice Dept says it’s now considering whether to pursue civil claims in the US or elsewhere.
The company said it is “confident that the Justice department’s complaint is without merit and will be vigorously defended.”
The news comes as Facebook has faced backlash from tech companies and politicians over its controversial ad network, which it says is a way for users to post content on Facebook.
The news came just a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is looking at whether to roll out a pay-for-privacy program.
The policy has been controversial because it could potentially make it harder for Facebook to fight copyright lawsuits.
Facebook says the policy is aimed at helping people find ads for products or services they might want, but critics have said the policy has the potential to allow companies to target people based on certain characteristics.
In response to the new legal complaint, Facebook announced it would be rolling out a new “Facebook for Ads” product that would provide users with a way to opt out of ads from Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies.