On August 6, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission published a notice seeking public comment on whether the FTC should expand its enforcement power over corporate privacy and data security practices. The notice, published in the Federal Register, follows FTC Chairman Joseph Simons’ declaration at a July 18 House subcommittee hearing that the FTC’s current authority to do so, under Section 5 of the FTC Act, is inadequate to deal with the privacy and security issues in today’s market.
The FTC asks for input by August 20, 2018. It also requests comment on growing or evolving its authority in several other areas, including the intersection between privacy, big data and competition. Beginning in September 2018, the FTC will conduct a series of public hearings to consider “whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection law, enforcement priorities, and policy.”