Venable attorneys Reed Freeman and Chelsea Reckell will present “Understanding and Navigating the Most Aggressive FTC in Over 40 Years” at the Virtual Spring Academy, to Be Hosted by the Privacy + Security Academy on March 25, 2022.
The current Federal Trade Commission is the most aggressive FTC since the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its focus is broad, with priority targets including repeat offenders, technology companies and digital platforms, and healthcare businesses. Its priority areas of focus are equally broad, including enforcement and new rulemakings (with changes made at the FTC’s first Open Meeting in July 2021 to streamline the FTC’s rulemaking procedures), including one that has the chance to become a de facto national privacy law, by rule: to “curb lax [data] security practices, limit privacy abuses, and ensure that algorithmic decision-making does not result in unlawful discrimination.” Other areas of current FTC focus include data minimization, “surveillance advertising” (for which the FTC accepted comments on a petition for rulemaking on the topic), data security, the potential for algorithmic and biometric bias, children’s privacy, “dark patterns” (deceptive and manipulative conduct on the Internet), and topics addressed in the FTC’s Notice of Penalty Offense letters: endorsements and testimonials; acts and practices in the education marketplace; and deceptive money-making opportunities. The last time the FTC was this aggressive, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Congress stripped it of both money and authority. Could that happen again? This session will explore the new FTC, with the goal of educating attendees of its priorities and how to stay out of its crosshairs.