Several scholars told a House panel Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission should develop clearer guidelines about its enforcement powers to help it balance its responsibility to both protect consumers and promote competition.
Consumer groups are concerned that mobile analytics firms are helping retailers track the location of customers throughout their stores. But Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist at Electronic Frontier Foundation, isn't criticizing retailers or their analytics vendors. Instead, the blame goes much further back.
Consumers would have access to the private information that data brokers collect about them under a bill that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) introduced Feb. 12. Data brokers, which assemble information about individuals and sell it to marketers, would have to maintain a public website that explains to consumers how to review their information and how they can prevent brokers from selling it.
Technology companies, consumer groups and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration have begun a process to develop privacy standards for facial recognition technology. At a Feb. 6 meeting, Lawrence Strickling, assistant commerce secretary for communications and information, said that facial recognition technology raises "novel privacy questions."
The Federal Trade Commission needs "more tools" to deter private sector consumer data breaches, said Jessica Rich, director of the agency's bureau of consumer protection, during a Feb. 3 Senate hearing. The FTC today has authority to bring data-breach related actions only if a company engaged in deceptive or unfair practices, such as by wrongly asserting or implying high levels of data protection.
Twelve American businesses – including a large Internet service provider – have agreed to settle charges from the Federal Trade Commission that they misrepresented their status under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Agreement.
The executive branch of the European Union in November released a report criticizing implementation of the framework, which allows American companies to attest they meet the union's data protection requirements and so legally process Europeans' data.
The Federal Trade Commission Dec. 9 launched an update to FTC.gov. Among the website's features is a responsively-designed format, which allows users to access the site just as easily from a smartphone or tablet as they do on a desktop.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Dec. 3 it would convene a multistakeholder process focused on privacy to develop a voluntary code of conduct that specifies how the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights applies to facial recognition technology in a commercial environment.
The Federal Trade Commission announced Oct. 23 it would extend the comment period for two proposals related to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.