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Last November, the Federal Trade Commission accepted comments on its proposal to start a rulemaking related to "Commercial Surveillance" - the agency's newly minted term for any and all business use of data about customers. The FTC has for decades sought to protect consumer privacy and data security through case-by-case application of its general consumer protection authority. It also is charged with rulemaking in a few narrow areas of privacy and data security. In practice, the FTC has become the U.S.'s primary privacy and data security enforcer. Now, while congress deliberates on whether and how to adopt a general privacy law, the FTC seeks to fill a perceived gap with agency rules. Does the agency have the authority to do so? What can we learn from the proceeding thus far? What are the agency's likely next steps and will it succeed? Our participants will discuss the proceeding, their participation in it, and what comes next. 


  • Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, Committee for Justice
  • Neil Chilson, Senior Research Fellow for Technology and Innovation, Charles Koch Institute

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.