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FTC zeroes in on Big Tech with public consultation

Posted on Aug 16, 2022
FTC zeroes in on Big Tech with public consultation

The US government will table new measures to crack down on corporate data sharing and consumer surveillance practices, soliciting advice from the public on regulations to counteract what it says is a growing security and health problem.

The practice by companies of harvesting data without the public's express consent places people at risk of having it hijacked by cybercriminals and used against them, the FTC said. Not only that, but there is evidence to suggest that such practices are also putting children, the elderly, and ethnic minorities at increased risk.

Announcing that it will open its doors to public consultation for 60 days, the FTC said it would seek comment on "a wide range of concerns about commercial surveillance practices." There will also be a virtual public forum held on September 8.

Topics up for discussion will include the methods companies use to surveille customers, what measures if any they take to protect consumer data, and harms to service users that are both easy and difficult to quantify.

Judging by an overview posted on the FTC’s website, the topics covered by the consultation will be comprehensive, inviting individuals and businesses to consider a wide range of issues.

Despite this effort, the commission itself has expressed doubts as to how effective any future regulations will be, primarily because it lacks the power to enforce them with financial penalties and the like under the FTC Act.

In a hint that it may seek for such powers to back up any new regulations it tables as a result of the consultation, the FTC added: "By contrast, rules that establish clear privacy and data security requirements across the board and provide the commission the authority to seek financial penalties for first-time violations could incentivize all companies to invest more consistently in compliant practices."

Full article on https://cybernews.com/news/ftc-zeroes-in-on-big-tech-with-public-consultation/

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