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NetChoice Expresses Concerns with Regulatory Overreach in FTC’s Proposed Rulemaking on “Commercial Surveillance and Data Security”

WASHINGTON—NetChoice submitted public comments on the Federal Trade Commission’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on “Commercial Surveillance and Data Security”.

Data privacy and safety online is a top concern in the U.S. today. How the federal government ultimately decides to tackle this issue will be critically important for Americans and a wide variety of industries. 

In public comments to the FTC on this topic, NetChoice implored the Commission and other federal policymakers to consider the appropriate scope of regulatory authority in this matter and not to supersede their congressionally-authorized scope, balance the tradeoffs of any proposal, and keep at the top mind how such rulemaking will impact the daily lives of Americans.  

“While we welcome the opportunity to provide feedback on the important issue of data privacy and security, we also must highlight concerns that the agency has overstepped its regulatory authority,” said NetChoice Policy Counsel Jennifer Huddleston. “The FTC fails to meet the criteria necessary under its limited rulemaking authority. Many of the practices identified so far by the agency have substantial benefits for consumers.”

“In fact, with legislation currently pending in Congress, the FTC should really wait for Congress to give guidance and authority around this issue,” added Huddleston.

NetChoice’s comment outlined 5 major points to the FTC: 

  1. The importance of the agency receiving proper Congressional authority before expanding its actions in this critical area;
  2. The problematic framing of the FTC’s actions around “consumer surveillance” that could harm beneficial and benign data practices;
  3. The FTC should use its limited resources to focus on data privacy concerns that are clearly within its mission rather than intervening in every facet of the American economy;
  4. The ability of existing laws to address some of the highlighted underlying concerns about potential harms;
  5. The need for any privacy rules to be firmly grounded in the concept of consumer harm.

You can read NetChoice’s public comment below. Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.