Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is accusing tech behemoth Facebook of engaging in housing discrimination, according to a complaint filed on Friday.
In it, HUD says the social media giant allows landlords and home sellers access to advertising tools that limit which prospective buyers or tenants can view certain online ads based on race, religion, sex, disability and other characteristics.
"The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination including those who might limit or deny housing options with a click of a mouse," Anna María Farías, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity said in a statement.
"When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it's the same as slamming the door in someone's face," she said.
According to the complaint, Facebook permitted advertisers to discriminate based on disability by blocking ads to users the company categorized as having interests in "mobility scooter" or "deaf culture." It similarly discriminates based on familial status by not showing ads to users that were labeled as being interested in "child care" or "parenting," according to the complaint.