On August 11, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its issuance of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) wherein it seeks public comment on issues related to “harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security.”

The deadline for submitting comments will be 60 days from the date the ANPR is published in the Federal Register, and there will be a virtual public forum on September 8, 2022.

Part of the focus of the ANPR is on “commercial surveillance,” defined as “the collection, aggregation, analysis, retention, transfer, or monetization of consumer data and the direct derivatives of that information.”  That definition differs from the definition in the FTC’s Fact Sheet on the FTC’s Commercial Surveillance and Data Security Rulemaking where commercial surveillance is described as “the business of collecting, analyzing, and profiting from information about people.”

The ANPR summarizes the FTC’s history of enforcement actions related to data privacy and security and then explains that the reason for the rulemaking is because its “experience suggests that enforcement alone without rulemaking may be insufficient to protect consumers from significant harms.”

The ANPR also explains that with the adoption of trade regulation rules in this area, the FTC would have authority to seek civil penalties for first-time violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which would “incentivize all companies to invest in compliance more consistently.”

While the adoption of any rule is likely years away, the RMAI Data Privacy and Security Working Group will analyze the ANPR to determine what data RMAI members may be able to provide to help shape any Notice of Proposed Rulemaking the FTC issues following this ANPR.

This Member Alert is intended for members of the Receivables Management Association International, is for informational purposes only, and is in no way intended to provide legal advice. Members are encouraged to consult with an attorney of their choice for legal advice concerning this matter.