Category: FTC



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GAO Report Recommends Congress Consider Comprehensive Privacy Regulation

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The GAO recently concluded a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. federal regulatory landscape with respect to internet privacy, specifically focusing on FTC and FCC enforcement actions and authorities. GAO interviewed representatives from industry, consumer advocacy groups, academia, FTC and FCC staff, former FTC and FCC commissioners, and officials from other agencies. (See page 40 of the GAO report for a complete list of those interviewed.) GAO recommends that Congress consider developing comprehensive legislation on internet privacy that would enhance existing consumer protections and provide flexibility to address a rapidly evolving privacy environment.

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FTC Commissioners Call for Federal Privacy Legislation and Highlight Lack of Civil Penalty Enforcement in Senate Hearing

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In their first congressional testimony together as a full commission, the Federal Trade Commissioners expressed support for comprehensive federal privacy legislation before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security on November 27. While the focus of the hearing was primarily on privacy and data security, the Commission’s written testimony provided updates regarding other consumer protection and competition matters.

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FTC Settles Fair Credit Reporting Act Action with Tenant Background Screening Company

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The FTC announced a settlement with RealPage, Inc., a tenant background screening company, settling allegations that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the tenant screening information it provided to landlords and property managers.

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FTC Opens Comment Period in Preparation for Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Hearings

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The Federal Trade Commission has opened up public comments for their upcoming Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.

The hearings will take place during the fall and winter 2018 and will examine “whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement law, enforcement priorities, and policy,” according to the FTC website. FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement that the hearings are modeled after former Chairman Bob Pitofsky’s 1995 Global Competition and Innovation Hearings, which at the time “re-energized one of the FTC’s most valuable functions – to gather leaders in business, economics, law, and related disciplines to discuss tough, emerging problems and prepare public reports on the facts, issues, governing law, and the need, as appropriate, for change.”

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Is There a “Tech” Bureau in the FTC’s Future?

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The Federal Trade Commission has focused some of its recent public statements on technology issues and related enforcement challenges. In this blog post, I provide a recap of those statements, including one before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

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FTC Staff Provides Recommendations to Consumer Product Safety Commission on IoT Safety

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In March 2018, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Written comments on The Internet of Things on Consumer Product Hazards.  The CPSC expressed interest regarding existing safety standards on existing IoT devices, how to prevent hazards, and the role of government in the effort to promote IoT safety.

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