On April 23, 2012, the Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs Privacy Law Watch published an article titled “The Federal Trade Commission’s Privacy Report: Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change—Five Key Takeaways” written by AGG Partner Robert R. Belair (subscription required to view article). On March 26, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a landmark privacy report stating that companies should adopt privacy by design, privacy choices for consumers and greater transparency. Mr. Belair derives five key points from the report:
- The FTC will focus more strongly on privacy issues.
- The “best practices” recommended to companies by the FTC are actually enforceable.
- Companies that may not have direct contact with consumers can face special privacy scrutiny from the FTC.
- The FTC’s “Do Not Track” policy may be a proxy for do not collect.
- Companies should regularly conduct privacy risk assessments that focus on FTC scrutiny.
Mr. Belair warns, “Every business that collects, maintains, uses or sells personally identifiable information about consumers needs to make privacy a priority.”