Red Flags for Data Brokers: Analysing Recent FTC Action
Data Protection Law & Policy
June 2012

Data brokers are largely invisible to consumers and unbridled by regulation. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws, has emphasized the need for targeted legislation to regulate this industry. However, without legislative pronouncement to expand the FTC's jurisdiction, enforcement power over these companies remains fairly constricted. The authors address the ramifications of the FTC's recent settlement with online people search engine, Spokeo, to the FTC's enforcement against abusive data aggregation.