Are new rules on tech companies needed to protect consumer data?
Posted On August 12, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission will soon be seeking public comment on the impact of commercial surveillance and possible benefits of rules on tech companies to protect consumers’ data privacy.
In a rulemaking proposal notice published Thursday, the commission asks for public comment on whether the commission should adopt rules on how companies use consumer data as well as companies profiting off data “in ways that are unfair or deceptive.”
The FTC gave a number of concerns regarding commercial surveillance including lax data security and harms to children.
Commercial surveillance is defined as the “business of collecting, analyzing, and profiting from information about people,” according to the FTC.
“Technologies essential to everyday life also enable near constant surveillance of people’s private lives,” the FTC notice read. “Mass surveillance has heightened the risks and stakes of errors, deception, manipulation, and other abuses.”
The commission found Twitter gathered user information, such as email and phone numbers, for security purposes but then used that information for targeted advertising and profit without notifying users.
The rulemaking proposal was approved 3-2 by the five FTC commissioners with Chairwoman Lina Khan and two Democratic commissioners approving and the two Republican commissioners opposing, the AP reported.
Public comment for the proposal will open virtually on Sept. 8 from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET. Commenters will have to register by August 31 to speak.