FTC Publishes Consumer Privacy Report

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The FTC recently released its recommendations for how corporations should ensure the privacy of consumers, especially when gathering data in an online environment. The report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers,” builds on an FTC preliminary staff report released in 2010, and addresses the slow pace of self-regulation with respect to consumer privacy and data security.

The report echoes several of the principles contained in the White House’s “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights,” released last February. Among other things, the FTC report advocates for more defined “do not track” legislation, and greater consumer access to the data that is gathered from them.

The FTC would like to see many of the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act extended to other situations where decision makers are aggregating data about a particular consumer.

“As more and more consumer data becomes available from a variety of sources, companies are increasingly finding new opportunities to compile, package and sell that information,” the FTC said. “In some instances, companies could be compiling and selling this data to those who are making decisions about a consumer’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment and the like.”

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