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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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