FTC Commissioners Call for Federal Privacy Legislation and Highlight Lack of Civil Penalty Enforcement in Senate Hearing

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In their first congressional testimony together as a full commission, the Federal Trade Commissioners expressed support for comprehensive federal privacy legislation before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security on November 27. While the focus of the hearing was primarily on privacy and data security, the Commission’s written testimony provided updates regarding other consumer protection and competition matters.

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New Biometrics and Geolocation Legislation Proposed in U.S. Senate, More States Consider Similar Laws

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Technology that determines an individual’s identity or location has been the subject of significant media attention in the first half of 2018: Amazon made news with the sale of its facial recognition technology to law enforcement, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government generally must obtain a warrant to access certain types of geolocation information, California arrested the Golden State Killer using the DNA information of a relative, and Facebook came under fire for the way in which Cambridge Analytica accessed the data of tens of millions of users. Garnering less attention, but of no less importance, are the legislative efforts underway in the federal government and in many states to regulate these emerging technologies and limit the ways in which this information can be collected.

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