On March 26, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its long-anticipated final report on privacy, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Consumer Change: Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers. The final report comes more than a year after the FTC's preliminary staff report, which proposed a new framework for addressing privacy issues based upon three general principles: privacy by design, simplified choice, and greater transparency. The final report represents the FTC's view as to best practices regarding consumer data and encourages the adoption of legislation and industry self-regulation. The FTC is the nation's leading consumer protection enforcement agency and has the authority to regulate all unfair and deceptive trade practices occurring in interstate commerce. The FTC has used this authority to assert jurisdiction over privacy-related matters for most businesses.
In its final report, the FTC largely retained its proposed three-principle framework, but it revised its recommendations in three key areas in response to public comments and commercial and technological developments: the scope of the framework, the contexts in which the framework calls for notice and choice to consumers prior to the collection and use of certain data, and the practices of data brokers. Specifically, the revised recommendations...
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