Today, NetChoice questioned the use of the Federal Trade Commission Act’s Section 6(b) to order nine starkly different “social media and video streaming platforms” to disclose information about their data collection, advertising, and user engagement with regards to children and teens in potentially one of the broadest uses of 6(b) orders yet.
“The Federal Trade Commission’s 6(b) orders are nothing more than a fishing expedition and a prime example of government overreach,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice. “It’s unfortunate that the Federal Trade Commission is seeking a press hit rather than seeking a legitimate conversation on privacy. The arbitrary use of authority risks both tarnishing the Federal Trade Commission’s reputation as well as undermining its power for times when the Commission really needs it.”
“Whereas 6(b) orders have historically been used to study common practices across similar businesses within an industry, today’s orders target only a few well-known but widely different businesses—seemingly tailored to bypass safeguards and make news headlines rather than constructively learn about market realities,” added Szabo. “This list of businesses is a complete hodgepodge, including apps that merely connect people via phone or messenger while simultaneously ignoring popular social media tools like LinkedIn and Zoom as well as major streaming giants like Disney and Fox, who collect incredible amounts of data on teens.”
“There is a glimmer of hope, however, in the fact the Federal Trade Commission’s order recognizes that Facebook faces fierce competition.”