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FTC Announces Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Commercial Surveillance

Data privacy and


FTC Announces Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Commercial Surveillance

The Federal Trade Commission is looking at new rules to stop harmful commercial surveillance and poor data security.

In an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, the FTC said mass commercial surveillance can increase the risk of data breaches, manipulation and other abuses. The agency wants to hear from the general public about the negative effects of commercial surveillance and if they think that new rules are needed to protect privacy and sensitive information.

Some of the topics that the organization wants to hear about are consumer data protection, automation accuracy, compulsory surveillance and existing enforcement actions. Individuals have 60 days from the time the notice is public in the Federal Register to submit their feedback, the FTC said Thursday.

Commercial surveillance can incentivize companies to collect consumer information often when users connect to the internet. Data that is being gathered through the method include online activity, browsing and purchasing history, location and other personal details.

Companies often use algorithms and automation to analyze the information they collect. The data gathered are either sold to advertisement agencies and other consumer data-reliant organizations or used by the companies to sell more products.

With commercial surveillance becoming more prominent, the FTC wants to ensure that companies are protecting sensitive consumer information from hackers and data thieves. The oversight body also wants to address concerns regarding possible inaccuracy and bias in automation solutions.

Finally, the agency wants to know if the enforcement of the FTC Act can be improved. This comes after the organization said it lacks authority to seek financial penalties for those who violate the bill.

The FTC will host a virtual public forum on Sept. 8 regarding the matter.

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Category: Federal Civilian