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FTC Official Warns Companies Not To Play Loose With Data

 |  December 18, 2022

A top Federal Trade Commission official told Axios the agency won’t hesitate to sue companies that play fast and loose with customers’ data, reported Axios.

In a rare interview, Samuel Levine, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of consumer protection, also warned companies that operate under FTC consent decrees — which includes Twitter — that “there’s no pause button” on such agreements.

What they’re saying: “We are not afraid to take companies to court,” Levine told Axios. “We are not afraid to litigate.”

Read more: FTC Looks To Crack Down On Lax Data Security

“Yes, we’re a government agency,” he said, but the FTC is also — in the words of former FTC chair Michael Pertschuk — the “greatest public-interest law firm in the country.”
“We try to focus on cases where we can have the most impact… we want to send a message to other companies in the marketplace.”

 Levine, a top deputy of tech-industry critic FTC chair Lina Khan, is playing a key role in shaping the agency’s potential new rules on “commercial surveillance” — which includes the targeted advertising that drives so many online business models.