Robert Gellman writes:
Those who follow FTC privacy activities are already aware of the hype that surrounds the FTC’s enforcement actions. For years, American businesses and the Department of Commerce have loudly touted the FTC as a privacy enforcer equivalent to EU Data Protection Authorities. The Commission is routinely cited as providing the enforcement mechanism for commercial privacy self-regulatory activities, for the EU-US Safe Harbor Framework, and for the Department of Commerce sponsored Multistakeholder process. American business and the Commerce Department have exhausted themselves in international privacy forums promoting the virtues of FTC privacy enforcement.
I want to put FTC privacy activities into a perspective by comparing the FTC with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Health and Human Services. OCR enforces health privacy and security standards based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
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