Prospects for FTC privacy rules

The FTC may begin its own rulemaking process on privacy, but many obstacles remain. Andrew Smith and Christina Higgins of Covington and Burling report from the US.

On 9 July, President Biden issued an Executive Order “encouraging” the new Chair of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “in her discretion,” to make rules regulating “unfair data collection and surveillance practices that may damage competition, consumer autonomy, and consumer privacy.”(1) This call for privacy rulemaking echoes recent comments by the FTC’s then-Acting Chair Rebecca Slaughter, who advocated for a privacy rule because of the “consumer-protection implications of widespread collection and dissemination of personal data fuelled by surveillance-based business models and especially by dominant technology firms.”(2)

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