FTC Warns Big Data Companies
FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said that the FTC is monitoring "big data" company activities, and will step in when consumer privacy is threatened.
"To me, the FTC is like the lifeguard on a beach. Like a vigilant lifeguard, the FTC’s job is not to spoil anyone’s fun but to make sure that no one gets hurt. With big data, the FTC’s job is to get out of the way of innovation while making sure that consumer privacy is respected." "The FTC recognizes that the effective use of big data has the potential to unleash a new wave of productivity and growth," She said in speech entitled The Privacy Challenges of Big Data: A View From the Lifeguard's Chair, at the Technology Policy Institute on August 19, 2013.
Ramirez cited to several privacy suits that the FTC brought against Google, Facebook, Twitter and others during the past few years.
In 2012, the FTC and Google reached a record $22.5 million settlement to resolve charges that it misled iOS users. The FTC and Facebook settled charges that Facebook misled its users about their privacy.
Ramirez also announced that the FTC plans to release its report later this year on data brokers. The FTC issued subpoenas at the end of 2012 to the nine largest data brokers seeking "information about the nature and sources of the consumer information the data brokers collect; how they use, maintain, and disseminate the information; and the extent to which they allow consumers to access and correct their information or opt out of having their personal information sold."
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