Jun 212018

June 20 – The Federal Trade Commission today announced that the agency will hold a series of public hearings on whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement law, enforcement priorities, and policy. The multi-day, multi-part hearings, which will take place this fall and winter, will be similar in form and structure to the FTC’s 1995 “Global Competition and Innovation Hearings” under the leadership of then-Chairman Robert Pitofsky.

“The FTC has always been committed to self-examination and critical thinking, to ensure that our enforcement and policy efforts keep pace with changes in the economy,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons commented today. “When the FTC periodically engages in serious reflection and evaluation, we are better able to promote competition and innovation, protect consumers, and shape the law, so that free markets continue to thrive.”

The hearings and public comment process will provide opportunities for FTC staff and leadership to listen to interested persons and outside experts representing a broad and diverse range of viewpoints. Additionally, the hearings will stimulate thoughtful internal and external evaluation of the FTC’s near- and long-term law enforcement and policy agenda. The hearings may identify areas for enforcement and policy guidance, including improvements to the agency’s investigation and law enforcement processes, as well as areas that warrant additional study.

In advance of these hearings, public comments on any of the following topics may be submitted to the FTC:

  1. The state of antitrust and consumer protection law and enforcement, and their development, since the Pitofsky hearings;
  2. Competition and consumer protection issues in communication, information, and media technology networks;
  3. The identification and measurement of market power and entry barriers, and the evaluation of collusive, exclusionary, or predatory conduct or conduct that violates the consumer protection statutes enforced by the FTC, in markets featuring “platform” businesses;
  4. The intersection between privacy, big data, and competition;
  5. The Commission’s remedial authority to deter unfair and deceptive conduct in privacy and data security matters;
  6. Evaluating the competitive effects of corporate acquisitions and mergers;
  7. Evidence and analysis of monopsony power, including but not limited to, in labor markets;
  8. The role of intellectual property and competition policy in promoting innovation;
  9. The consumer welfare implications associated with the use of algorithmic decision tools, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics;
  10. The interpretation and harmonization of state and federal statutes and regulations that prohibit unfair and deceptive acts and practices; and
  11. The agency’s investigation, enforcement, and remedial processes.

The Commission will invite public comment in stages throughout the term of the hearings.

  • Through August 20, 2018, the Commission will accept public comment on the topics identified in the announcement. Each topic description includes issues of particular interest to the Commission, but comments need not be restricted to these subjects.
  • Additionally, the Commission will invite comments on the topic of each hearing session. The FTC will issue a news release before each session to inform the public of the agenda, the date and location, and instructions on submitting comment.
  • The Commission will also invite public comment upon completion of the entire series of hearings.

Public comments may address one or more of the above topics generally, or may address them with respect to a specific industry, such as the health care, high-tech, or energy industries.  Any additional topics for comment will be identified in later notices.

The hearings will begin in September 2018 and are expected to continue through January 2019, and will consist of 15 to 20 public sessions. All hearings will be webcast, transcribed, and placed on the public record. A dedicated website for information about the hearings including the schedule as it evolves can be found at www.ftc.gov/ftc-hearings.

Public Comments:  Interested parties are invited to submit written commentson the topics listed above to the FTC, either electronically at www.ftc.gov/ftc-hearingsor in paper form. FTC staff may use these comments in any subsequent reports or policy papers.  Comments should refer to “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Hearings, Project Number P181201.” If an interested party wishes to comment on multiple topics, we encourage filing a separate comment for each topic. If an interested party wishes to make general comments about the hearings, we encourage filing a comment in response to Topic 1. For this stage of the public comment process, comments will be accepted until August 20, 2018.

If you prefer to file a comment in hard copy, write ‘‘Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Hearing, Project Number P181201,” on your comment and on the envelope and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex C), Washington, DC 20580, or deliveryour comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex C), Washington, DC 20024.

The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC’s privacy policy, available at ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

For Further Information Contact:  Derek Moore, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-3367, John Dubiansky, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2182 or email us at [email protected](link sends e-mail).

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topicsand file a consumer complaint onlineor by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook(link is external), follow us on Twitter(link is external), read our blogsand subscribe to press releasesfor the latest FTC news and resources.

SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission

Jun 212018

Hunton Andrews Kurth writes:

On July 1, 2018, HB 183, which amends Virginia’s breach notification law, will come into effect (the “amended law”). The amended law will require income tax return preparers who prepare individual Virginia income tax returns to notify the state’s Department of Taxation (the “Department”) if they discover or are notified of a breach of “return information.” Under the amended law, “return information” is defined as “a taxpayer’s identity and the nature, source, or amount of his income, payments, receipts, deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liability, tax withheld, assessments, or tax payments.”

Read more on Privacy & Information Security Law Blog.

Jun 182018

Joseph J. Lazzarotti, Jason C. Gavejian, and Maya Atrakchi of Jackson Lewis write that changes to Louisiana’s data breach notification law (Act 382) go into effect on August 1 of this year. Those changes include expansion of the definition of personal information, requirements that notification be made no later than 60 days from discovery of a breach, and requirements for reasonable security and data disposal.

Read more about these changes on The National Law Review.

Jun 012018

Denise Lebeau-Marianna and Caroline Chancé of DLA Piper write:

…. In order to help organizations perform secure personal data processing and improve the overall digital security in France, the ANSSI has made available on its website (in French), a practical tool supplementing the French data protection supervisory authority’s (CNIL) own guidelines and recommendations on how to implement the GDPR.

The toolkit is composed of a series of information sheets, videos, infographics, guides, simulators, training courses and other documents covering many topics from risk management to best practice in terms of IT hygiene, employee awareness, trusted digital services, etc. organized in 5 main themes:

  • Understanding the digital risk
  • Protection
  • Employee awareness
  • Choosing trusted experts and solutions
  • What to do in case of security incident

Read more on Privacy Matters.

May 192018

Edward J. McAndrew of Ballard Spahr LLP writes:

South Carolina has become the first state to enact a version of the Insurance Data Security Model Law, which was drafted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2017. Governor Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Insurance Data Security Act into law on May 14, 2018. The Act will become effective on January 1, 2019.


The South Carolina Act will require all insurers, agents and other licensed entities doing business in the state to establish a comprehensive, written information security program by July 1, 2019. The program must be “[c]ommensurate with the size and complexity of the licensee, the nature and scope of the licensee’s activities, including the use of third-party service providers, and the sensitivity of the nonpublic information” that the licensee uses, possesses, or controls.

Read more on National Law Review.