FTC Privacy Rulemaking – The Steps to Get There

Published: December 2021Click To View (PDF)

Actions and statements by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission this year have made it clear the commission intends to use its rulemaking authority under Section 18 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. §57a, to formulate rules prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. A recently published notice states the FTC is considering initiating a rulemaking “to curb lax security practices, limit privacy abuses, and ensure that algorithmic decision-making does not result in unlawful discrimination.”

The rulemaking process under Section 18, referred to as “Magnuson-Moss” or “Mag-Moss” rulemaking, requires more than informal rulemaking under the Administrative Procedures Act. Historically, it is a lengthy process that can take several years to complete. In July 2021, the FTC revised its Rules of Practice. It remains to be seen how these changes will impact the timeline. This infographic outlines the key rulemaking steps.

Note: This resource is for informational purposes only. Specific rulemaking requirements should be verified via official sources.