The Department will investigate Facebook advertisers to examine these disturbing allegations and we are prepared to take whatever measures necessary to make certain that all financial services providers are in compliance with New York's stringent statutory and regulatory consumer protections." According to reports, Facebook's advertising platform allows advertisers to modify or block ads using ZIP code information to exclude consumers based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status
, sex and disability, among other classifications.
Such discrimination is also often used as a proxy for illegal discrimination based on disability, familial status
, or race.
Of utmost concern, HUD is scrutinizing the use of zip codes, user interests and demographics, which may have intended or unintended consequences on almost all of the federally protected classes under the Fair Housing Act (race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status
Since women's bodies and sexuality have come to be tied to familial status
, the repercussions of such laws would clearly be more detrimental for women than men.
The Federal Fair Housing Act includes familial status
as a protected class.
"Happy, Pappy?" According to its Complaint dated August 13, 2018, HUD alleges that Facebook "unlawfully discriminates by enabling advertisers to restrict which Facebook users receive housing-related ads based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status
, national origin and disability." The Complaint cites the following non-exhaustive list of ways in which Facebook's ad targeting tools enable advertisers of housing and housing-related services to discriminate including, but not limited to:
PERCENT OF COMPLAINTS BY PROTECTED CLASS Disability 55% Sex 6% Familial Status
9% Color 1% Other 9% National Origin 8% Religion 1% Race 19% Note: Table made from line graph.
The law prohibits housing ads that "indicate any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status
, or national origin." The ads were approved within in minutes.
HomeStreet is an Equal Housing Lender and makes mortgage loans without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status
. Member FDIC.
According to the final judgement document, the credit union is also required to undergo annual mandatory fair housing training, provided by a third-party vendor, regarding sex and familial status
discrimination, including maternity leave issues for the next three years.
Further, the subjects appeared to be unaware of how their education and work life would potentially contribute to a changing perception of their familial status
and influence the social position of women in subsequent generations.