Enforcing Privacy Promises

Protecting Consumer Privacy

Making Sure Companies Keep Their Privacy Promises to Consumers

When companies tell consumers they will safeguard their personal information, the FTC can and does take law enforcement action to make sure that companies live up these promises.  As of May 1, 2011, the FTC has brought 32 legal actions against organizations that have violated consumers’ privacy rights, or misled them by failing to maintain security for sensitive consumer information.  In these cases, the FTC can charge the defendants with violating of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which bars unfair and deceptive acts and practices in or affecting commerce. The Commission's Section 5 privacy cases can be viewed here. In addition to the FTC Act, there are 33 other laws, rules and guides that provide the agency with enforcement authority to protect consumers’ privacy.

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