Lawsuit claims Facebook discriminates against older and female users

Lawsuit claims Facebook discriminates against older and female users
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Facebook was sued Thursday by a Washington, D.C., woman who argued that the company did not display ads to her pertaining to financial services on the basis of her age and gender.

Reuters reported that the suit, filed in California, argues that 54-year-old Neutah Opiotennione was deprived of information about financial services because of Facebook's ad targeting policy.

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The suit argues that the ad targeting policies continue to allow financial services companies to restrict ads to such demographics as “people ages 24 to 40” and “men ages 20 and older,” according to Reuters.

A Facebook spokeswoman told The Hill that the company's "policies have long prohibited discrimination and we’re proud of the strides we’re making in this area."

“We’re reviewing the complaint. We’ve made significant changes to how housing, employment and credit opportunities are run on Facebook and continue to work on ways to prevent potential misuse. Our policies have long prohibited discrimination and we're proud of the strides we’re making in this area," said the spokeswoman.

An attorney for the plaintiffs told Reuters in an interview that Facebook's ad targeting policies were akin to a car company refusing to offer specific features to different demographics of customers.

“The internet is not a place where you can discriminate against people because of their age or gender, particularly in financial services opportunities,” Peter Romer-Friedman told the news service. “It would be like General Motors refusing to offer women or older people the same features on a car as men or younger people.”

Updated at 10:49 p.m.