ICLE Scholars Respond to FTC Inquiry on ‘Commercial Surveillance’

PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 22, 2022) – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears set to propose sweeping data-security and privacy rules that ignore the tremendous benefits produced by the information economy and that barely acknowledge the limits of the FTC’s own authority, ICLE scholars argue in a response to an FTC advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on “commercial surveillance and data security.”

Written by ICLE President Geoffrey A. Manne, Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout and Senior Scholar Daniel Gilman—himself a veteran of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning—the ICLE comments acknowledge the potential benefits of streamlined and uniform federal data-security or privacy regulations, and note that the commission is “uniquely positioned to understand the complexities entailed” in developing such rules. The ANPR fails to build on that expertise, however, and “its dearth of economic analysis is especially striking,” the ICLE scholars argue.

“Absent an express grant of authority and the requisite resources from Congress, the Commission would be ill-advised to consider, much less to adopt, the kinds of sweeping data regulations that the Commercial Surveillance ANPR appears to contemplate,” they write.

A copy of the full comments nation can be downloaded here. To schedule an interview with Geoff Manne, Dan Gilman or Kristian Stout, please contact ICLE Media and Communications Manager Elizabeth Lincicome at [email protected].