The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated proceedings towards making new rules regulating consumer data privacy, the board announced Thursday.
The commission, led by Chair Lina Khan, released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), outlining a plan to create nationwide data privacy regulations and investigate “unfair and deceptive” data practices to which many consumers are unaware of, including the collection, monetization and surveillance of consumer data.
The notice reads:
Consumers today likely give a wide range of personal information about themselves to companies, including their movements, prayers, friends, menstrual cycles, web-browsing, and faces, among other basic aspects of their lives. Companies, meanwhile, develop and market products and services to collect and monetize this data.
Congress is also currently considering the American Data Privacy and Protection Act to create federal data privacy legislation, which passed out of the House Energy and Commerce committee last month. Commissioners Noah Philips and Christine Wilson voted against the ANPR, deferring to Congress and questioning the FTC’s authority. Philips, in a dissenting statement, wrote that the proposed rules “recast the Commission as a legislature.”
In support of the action, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter said that “given the uncertainty of the legislative process … the Commission should not wait any longer than it already has to develop a public record that could support enforceable rules.” Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya also supported the ANRP rulemaking process.
The FTC’s rule making authority is sourced in Section 18 of the FTC Act, passed in 1975. The process includes the consideration of public input and feedback, and the commission will host a virtual public forum for comments on the proposed rules September 8.