EPIC, Coalition Urge FTC to Issue Rules Protecting Consumers Against Data Abuse and Discrimination
October 27, 2021
Today, EPIC and a coalition of 44 consumer advocacy, civil rights, and media democracy groups urged the Federal Trade Commission to initiate a rulemaking to promote civil rights and protect against abusive data practices. “Companies use personal data to enable and even perpetuate discriminatory practices against people of color, women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, religious minorities, persons with disabilities, persons living on low income, immigrants and other marginalized groups,” the letter explains. The letter calls for a rulemaking that would address the collection, use, management, retention, and deletion of personal data. “This country faces a deepening crisis of data abuse and discrimination,” John Davisson, Senior Counsel at EPIC. “But the FTC has the power to set industry-wide rules that will rein in exploitative data practices and protect privacy and civil rights. We join the president and members of Congress in urging the FTC to use that power as soon as possible.” EPIC has frequently challenged the FTC over its failure to address consumer privacy harms, has filed a rulemaking petition with the FTC on commercial AI use, and has long advocated for the creation of a U.S. Data Protection Agency. EPIC also published a report on the FTC’s unused statutory authorities, What the FTC Could Be Doing (But Isn’t) to Protect Privacy, in June.