FTC Announces September 22 Workshop on Data Portability

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop on September 22, 2020, to examine the potential benefits and challenges to consumers and competition raised by data portability.

Data portability gives consumers more control over their data, allowing them to move data—such as emails, contacts, calendars, financial information, health information, favorites, friends, or content posted on social media—from one service to another or to themselves. Data portability may also promote competition by allowing new entrants to access data they otherwise would not have, enabling the growth of competing platforms and services.

Some of the challenges to implementing data portability include how to treat a consumer’s data that might contain information about others, such as friends’ photos and comments; how to securely transfer data from one service to another; and whether mandating data portability will give companies less incentive to invest in data-driven products and services.

The topic has gained interest with the implementation of major privacy laws that include data portability requirements such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

The workshop will bring together consumer advocates, industry representatives, economists, regulators, and other stakeholders for a wide-ranging public discussion on these issues. To assist the agency’s analysis of this topic, the FTC is seeking comment on a range of issues including:

  • how companies are currently implementing data portability;
  • the benefits and costs of data portability;
  • the extent to which data portability has increased or decreased competition;
  • who should be responsible for the security of personal data in transit between businesses; and
  • lessons learned and best practices from the implementation of the GDPR and CCPA data portability requirements. 

Comments may be submitted until August 21, 2020 electronically to DataPortability@ftc.gov. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “FTC Data Portability Workshop” on your comment and on the envelope and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610, Washington, DC 20024.

Requests to participate as a presenter or panelist at the workshop can be submitted to DataPortability@ftc.gov. If a proposed panelist or commenter is affiliated with an entity that has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary on relevant topics, please identify such funding and its source in your comment or in your request for consideration as a speaker.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, D.C., and webcast live on the FTC’s website. The agenda, directions to the Constitution Center building, and a list of speakers will be available in the near future on the event webpage.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT: 
Juliana Gruenwald Henderson
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2924

STAFF CONTACTS:
Katherine White
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-2878

Andrea Zach
Bureau of Competition
202-326-2184