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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Department of Commerce requests comments on new federal approach to consumer privacy rules

Federal Issues Department of Commerce Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security GDPR FTC

Federal Issues

On September 26, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) published a notice and request for comments on behalf of the Department of Commerce seeking input from stakeholders on ways to address consumer privacy concerns while protecting prosperity and innovation. The NTIA’s notice seeks comments on a proposed set of “user-centric privacy outcomes” to be addressed by future federal action on consumer privacy policy, along with a set of high-level goals that would establish the outlines for the direction these protections should take. Among other things, the NTIA also seeks feedback on ways to (i) increase harmonization across the regulatory landscape; (ii) ensure a balance between legal clarity, flexibility for innovation, and consumer privacy; (iii) prevent a fragmented regulatory approach by ensuring that any law is applied equally to all businesses not covered by sectoral laws; (iv) develop a regulatory framework “consistent with the international norms and frameworks”; and (v) provide the FTC with the necessary tools and resources to effectively enforce such rules.

The NTIA’s proposal follows the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was implemented this past summer, and the recently enacted and amended California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (see previous InfoBytes coverage here). Comments on the notice must be received by October 26.

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