A New Era for the FTC and U.S. Privacy? House Reconciliation Bill Would Give the FTC $500 Million to Build a New Privacy Bureau
As we've all been following in the news, the House
reconciliation bill to fund "human infrastructure" is
still mired in negotiations, ever on the verge of either passing to
monumental fanfare, or cratering in failure. Tucked away on page
671 of the 1684-page bill is a short provision that, despite scant
attention, has the potential to usher in a new era for the FTC and
U.S. privacy – $500 million to fund a brand new FTC privacy
bureau, to be spent between 2022 and 2029.
In a much-anticipated announcement last week, the FTC amended the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
(GLBA) Safeguards Rule, and proposed a further amendment requiring certain
financial institutions to provide the FTC with notice in the event
of certain security events. Although these changes were announced
after FTC Commissioner Chopra left the agency to lead the CFPB, he
apparently voted prior to leaving to ensure 3/2 approval of the
amendments in a Commission that remains divided.
The Supreme Court in AMG foreclosed the FTC's ability to pursue monetary remedies under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act. That, however, AMG has not stopped the FTC from pursuing monetary relief directly in court, while attempting to bypass the statutory prerequisite of an administrative proceeding. The FTC is continuing to use Section 13(b) of the Act to attempt to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. At the same time, the Commission is coupling its 13(b) requests for injunctive relief with other (sometimes creative) statutory requests for money.
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