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Federal Trade Commission Considers Adopting Rules to Address Harmful Commercial Surveillance; Lina Khan Quoted

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on a proposed rule to address the negative effects of collecting, analyzing and profiting from people’s information and implementing lax data security practices.

FTC said Thursday it has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to gather information on the risks posed by commercial surveillance and determine whether it needs to adopt new rules to protect the public’s privacy and information.

The agency raises concerns about the possibility that companies monetize the collection of consumer information, including browsing and purchase histories, online activities and other personal details.

FTC is also concerned that companies analyze the information they collect using algorithms and automated systems that are prone to errors, bias and inaccuracy.

“Our goal today is to begin building a robust public record to inform whether the FTC should issue rules to address commercial surveillance and data security practices and what those rules should potentially look like,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said.