221121 Comments Commercial Surveillance Data Security FTC
Vice President, C_TEC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
November 21, 2022
The Chamber has long advocated for a clear and truly national privacy law that protects all Americans equally, but given open questions (including questions posed in the ANPR) about the limits of the Commission’s statutory authority, only Congress can achieve this goal. Anything short of federal legislation would only add to the already complex patchwork of laws and regulations purporting to govern privacy and data security. An economy wide comprehensive privacy, algorithmic, and security rule promulgated by FTC raises serious legal concerns.
The data-driven economy provides unparalleled benefits to society. It enables greater affordability of goods and services, empowers small business, enhances public safety, provides more nimble and robust public health responses, and promotes financial inclusion. For the United States to continue to reap the benefits of this data-driven economy and compete against countries that do not share our values in a free-market economy and democracy, there must be trust. Consumers should trust that their data is protected and respected by innovators and companies. Businesses and consumers should trust that the government will provide clear rules and enforcement that prevent nefarious actors from harming consumers. Finally, all citizens must trust that government agencies will honor the Constitution and due process.
A trade rule on privacy, security, and algorithms would add a new layer of confusion both for consumers and businesses striving to innovate while remaining compliant, and lead to major negative impacts on the U.S. economy.
The Federal Trade Commission should halt the current rulemaking because: 1) a comprehensive privacy rule and many of the individual proposals in the ANPR exceed FTC’s statutory authority; 2) the ANPR itself fails to meet the requirements of Section 18 of the FTC Act;and 3) many of the proposals in the APNR would impede innovation, harm consumers, and negatively impact the ability of businesses—particularly small ones, including minority, veteran, and woman-owned companies to compete.