On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy (the “Executive Order”). The stated goal of the Executive Order is to increase competition in the United States and resolve issues related to monopolistic behaviors, including with respect to privacy and data protection.
The Executive Order highlights the role of administrative agencies and executive departments in promoting fair competition, and further expands agency responsibilities to accomplish these goals. Data privacy is a key concern addressed in the Executive Order, particularly the collection and aggregation of data and the surveillance of users. The Executive Order encourages the Federal Trade Commission to establish rules that regulate “unfair data collection and surveillance practices that may damage competition, consumer autonomy, and consumer privacy.” The Executive Order also announces an administration policy of greater scrutiny of mergers, especially with respect to “the accumulation of data, competition by ‘free’ products, and the effect on user privacy.”