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NetChoice Voices Major Concerns with the FTC’s Proposed Rulemaking on “Commercial Surveillance and Data Security”

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hosting a public forum on “Commercial Surveillance and Data Security” in relation to its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the topic.

Data privacy is a critical issue for Americans today, and it is essential that they feel safe and secure online. However, as NetChoice Policy Counsel Jennifer Huddleston will note during the public comment period at the forum, the FTC’s rulemaking interest in such issues raises at least 3 particular concerns: 

  1. Whether the FTC has authority to undertake this process, especially when Congress is considering legislation on the issue;
  2. The misuse of “commercial surveillance” as related to the use of data, and; 
  3. Why the FTC should use its resources to focus on those harmful privacy and cybersecurity actions that are already clearly within its mission. 

“Americans’ privacy is an incredibly serious issue and must not be taken lightly. As such, I seek to raise some key concerns during the FTC’s public forum today to explain why it is questionable that the FTC should wade into this topic without a clear grant of authority from Congress,” said Jennifer Huddleston, NetChoice Policy Counsel.

“It’s unclear given the notice that FTC Chair Lina Khan even understands what she seeks to regulate, and it seems like she is seeking to pursue a particular viewpoint and accomplish her preferred political goals rather than considering consumers. In the notice, the FTC conflates the broad need to keep our computers secure with the ability for businesses to provide advertisements that pay for the free services we all enjoy. Worse still, Chair Khan appears to have already decided her preferred outcome in a war on internet-based advertisements that is out of touch with the average American.”

“The FTC must transparently and clearly respond to these concerns and remain within its congressionally-granted regulatory authority before proceeding with such rulemaking, as it will likely impact all Americans and businesses far beyond just the technology industry. It is the role of Congress to decide the correct approach to keeping Americans’ data secure and provide a data privacy framework, not unelected bureaucrats.” continued Huddleston.

You can read Huddleston’s full comment for the public forum below. Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.