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Venable partner Milo Cividanes was quoted in a January 3, 2017, article in The Privacy Advisor on how best to respond to a civil investigative demand (CID) from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A CID means an organization is being investigated for possible “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” Cividanes made the comments while presenting "So You Just Got a CID: What's Next?" at the International Association of Privacy Professionals' Practical Privacy Series FTC Day last month.

Cividanes said CID requests pose a real burden on organizations and his goal is to ease that burden. "One way to do that is get a better handle on what they’re really curious about," he said. "Then you can start triaging, marshaling the right documents, get to a meeting of the minds with FTC staff about what’s helpful in their inquiry." However, "some staff will be more forthcoming than others," he noted.

Cividanes added, "Often the analogy I make is that FTC staff are in a dark room. They don't know the size of the room; they don't know if it's a stall or the coliseum. They put together questions to try to figure out the size. If you can help them understand the size and burden of asking the questions, they’ll work with you to make it less burdensome, but still get at the information they think is critical for making an assessment."