In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) celebrated its 100-year anniversary, marking over a century as the lead consumer watchdog based on its broad authority established by Sec. 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.”
The Commission has demonstrated that after a century, their Section 5 authority is flexible enough to keep pace with rapid technological evolution. For instance, as SIIA has highlighted in a recent policy paper, the FTC settlement with TRENDnet demonstrated that the FTC’s regulatory authority is indeed applicable to the Internet of Things (IoT). The FTC v. Wyndham demonstrated that while data security is not explicitly identified in Section 5, the FTC’s unfairness authority includes the ability to protect consumer data from data breaches.
While there is little question of the critical value of the FTC as the lead regulator and enforcer of consume ...