FTC Announces Proposed Rulemaking on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security

August 11, 2022

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and request for public comment regarding commercial surveillance and lax data security practices. The FTC is specifically asking whether and how it should regulate the ways that companies collect, process, transfer, share, sell and monetize consumers’ personal data. The ANPR poses a series of questions in several categories (for example, Harms to Consumers, Discrimination, Remedies, Costs and Benefits, etc.) that commenters may address in their submissions and submissions will be due within 60 days (October 10, 2022). There will also be a virtual public forum on the matter hosted on September 8, 2022.

Alan Butler, EPIC’s Executive Director and President, responded to the announcement that “EPIC is thrilled to see the FTC taking action on harmful commercial surveillance and data security practices. For too long, the data practices of companies online have been dictated by large and powerful corporations, and users have been subject to invasive surveillance and dangerous profiling. It is time for rules that put users first and end these invasive and unfair business practices.”

EPIC has repeatedly called on the FTC to exercise its rulemaking authority to better protect consumer privacy. A recent EPIC white paper argued in support of using Section 5 unfairness authority to establish a Data Minimization Rule. In addition, EPIC has joined coalition letters calling for civil rights and privacy rulemaking and submitted a request for rulemaking on the use of artificial intelligence in commerce.

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