FTC Testifies On Privacy, Competition At Senate Commerce Hearing

May 10, 2012

Privacy as a competition issue was a focus at the Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing on online privacy Thursday.

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said having privacy rules could help provide a level playing field between companies that have privacy policies and those who don’t.

Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen said, however, said something to be cautious of is enacting privacy rules in a way that favors incumbent companies, which already have lots of data, compared to companies just starting up.

She told senators, “new restrictions may also have an effect on competition by favoring entrenched entities that already have consumer information over new entrants who need to obtain such information, or encouraging industry consolidation for purposes of sharing data.  As a competition agency, the FTC should be sensitive to these concerns as well.

Ohlhausen said she wanted to see what voluntary privacy measures companies are taking ahead of new regulations.

In a response to a question, Chairman Leibowitz also told senators that he is seeing  more companies using their privacy policies as a means of attracting users and competing against similar online services.

CCIA President & CEO Ed Black has said that privacy used as a competition point is a good thing because it allows Internet users choice when it comes to the often competing goals of privacy versus the abundance of free content and services.

Related Articles

CCIA Files Comments On FTC Proposal To Expand Jurisdiction On Privacy Rules

Washington –  The Computer & Communications Industry Association submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Monday in response to the agency’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on whether it should consider new trade rules on the collection, use and transfer of consumer data. CCIA noted that the FTC’s rulemaking and enforcement authority is limited…

CCIA To Testify Before FTC On Privacy Thursday

Washington –The Computer & Communications Industry Association will testify Thursday during the Federal Trade Commission’s Public Forum on Privacy. CCIA supports baseline federal privacy rules for the Internet ecosystem. CCIA Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President Stephanie Joyce will tell the FTC that federal law should protect sensitive user data that can be linked…

ICYMI: Experts Warn FTC Should Not Misuse Authority to Remake Antitrust Law

Washington – Concurrences Review and the Computer & Communications Industry Association hosted an event at the National Press Club June 27 on the Federal Trade Commission’s rulemaking authority. Throughout the day-long event, experts discussed the role of Congress vs. the FTC in changing antitrust law, and the legal and chilling economic impact of FTC’s approach…