Hello from Maine!
As I write this, there are just 58 days left in 2021, which might explain the general sense of urgency I have to wrap up all of the projects, both for work and home.
There seems to be a similar sense within the FTC. In case you've missed it, there has been a flurry of activity from the FTC over the last couple of months. In September, a potential spending boost of $1 billion was set aside for the agency in a draft of the Build Back Better Act. There have been personnel changes, a call from Senate Democrats for the agency to begin privacy rulemaking, not to mention enforcement actions.
We touched on the spending boost and the reaction from former FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich last month.
My colleague IAPP Staff Writer Joe Duball wrote about the latest FTC developments and provided coverage of U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter's keynote speech at the IAPP's Privacy. Security. Risk. 2021. You can read about that along with other FTC coverage below.
In the midst of this activity, Congress has also been trying to wrap up some of its own projects, namely the Build Back Better Act.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on the Budget dropped an updated version of the act, and it's a whopping 2,135 pages.
There were two changes nestled in the section on FTC privacy enforcement we haven't talked about yet.
First, while the act still contains the provision to "create and operate a bureau ... to accomplish its work related to unfair or deceptive acts or practices relating to privacy, data security, identity theft, data abuses, and related matters," it reduces funding to $500 million.
Second, a provision was added granting the FTC separate fining authority. Whether this provision remains in the act once it hits the Senate floor remains to be seen.
House Democrats are expected to hold a vote on the bill later this afternoon. If passed, it is unclear when the Senate will cast a vote as they just left on the first of two 12-day recesses.
There is still time to pass the legislation, but the clock is ticking.
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