My blog on HUD and Facebook went a bit long but there were a few things missing. I’ve included the lawsuit filing and the original HUD complaint. Guess where I found the HUD filing – on HUD’s Facebook page!
In response, Facebook stated the following:
We’re surprised by HUD’s decision, as we’ve been working with them to address their concerns and have taken significant steps to prevent ads discrimination. Last year we eliminated thousands of targeting options that could potentially be misused, and just last week we reached historic agreements with the National Fair Housing Alliance, ACLU, and others that change the way housing, credit, and employment ads can be run on Facebook. While we were eager to find a solution, HUD insisted on access to sensitive information — like user data — without adequate safeguards. We’re disappointed by today’s developments, but we’ll continue working with civil rights experts on these issues.”
I’m curious exactly this sensitive user information that HUD was seeking.
One final point. What really stops “redlining” practices these day (beyond the fact that it is illegal) is Zillow and other competitors who provide maps showing available homes and rentals in a general area with listed prices and extensive information which can be screened by the buyer. Interestingly, this is an area which Facebook is likely to enter. It is a strike against discriminatory practices, at least on the information concerning availability. See link:
Facebook sets its sights on housing. Should Zillow be worried?
As I said in the prior post, Facebook stock has actually risen after being sued.
Why HUD’s lawsuit against Facebook came as a surprise