Record Set: Assessing Points of Emphasis from the Public Input on the FTC’s Privacy Rulemaking

More than 1,200 law firms, advocacy organizations, trade associations, companies, researchers, and others responded to the Federal Trade Commission’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on “Commercial Surveillance and Data Security.” Significantly, the ANPR initiates a process that may result in comprehensive regulation of data privacy and security in the United States, and also marks a notable change from the Commission’s historical case-by-case approach to addressing consumer data misuse. Comments received in response to the ANPR will be used to generate a public record that informs the Commission in deciding whether to pursue one or more draft rules, and will be generally available for any policymaker to utilize in future legislative proposals. The Future of Privacy Forum’s comment is available here

Using a sample of 70 comments, excluding our own, selected from stakeholders representing various sectors and perspectives, the Future of Privacy Forum analyzed responses for common themes and areas of divergence. Below is a summary of key takeaways.

1. Areas of Agreement

a. Data Minimization

Many submissions encouraged the Commission to create a rule or standard requiring that companies engage in some form of data minimization. Data minimization is a foundational data protection principle, appearing in the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) and required by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other international regulations. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) emphasized that an FTC data minimization rule would help harmonize data protection standards between the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.), and would

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