FTC Commissioner Wilson Signals Openness to Data Privacy Rulemaking
February 12, 2021
Christine Wilson, one of four current members of the Federal Trade Commission, said Friday that she is open to using the FTC's rulemaking authority to regulate data privacy. "I would hope that Congress will act, but if Congress doesn't act, maybe we do spend that time," Politico quoted Commissioner Wilson as saying during a Silicon Flatirons event. EPIC has long urged the FTC to impose clear privacy obligations on companies that collect and use personal data, including by exercising the Commission's underused rulemaking power. In 2020, EPIC filed a petition with the FTC calling on the Commission to conduct a rulemaking on the use of artificial intelligence in commercial settings. "By defining unfair and deceptive practices ex ante, and with specificity, a trade regulation rule would make it easier for the FTC to take action against parties that harm consumers," EPIC explained. Acting FTC Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Commissioner Rohit Chopra have previously signaled their support for using the FTC's rulemaking authority to address consumer privacy issues.