The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) privacy standards for consumer information are widely recognized as the lodestar, setting the general rules by which businesses can collect and use consumer information. In particular, the FTC's enforcement actions provide useful parameters for businesses as they develop and maintain their compliance programs. These enforcement actions serve as the basis for this book, which covers 20 years of FTC Section 5 privacy enforcement actions between 1998 and 2018.
While the FTC's privacy framework continues to adapt to new technologies and data practices, reviewing the FTC's prior enforcement actions offers valuable insights into how that framework will meet new challenges and provides a set of guideposts that can help companies continue to responsibly collect and use consumer data.
Venable's eCommerce, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Practice Group engages with the FTC to help shape the Commission's theory of consumer privacy. Our team has been involved in the development of U.S. privacy doctrine since the FTC's earliest privacy actions—including serving as counsel in the FTC's first Internet privacy case involving GeoCities—and has worked with the FTC on its policy developments at every turn. Our experience led us to provide this book as a resource to all stakeholders in the data-driven economy.