News Byte: FTC Commish Tells Consumers to Police Their Own Privacy

Share this content:
Ohlhausen: Privacy options stir competition.
Ohlhausen: Privacy options stir competition.

Taking questions from citizens in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit on Nov. 1, FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen suggested that consumers dump a service if they take issue with its data collection policies and that differing menus of privacy options could stir competition in the marketplace.

Addressing a question about how small businesses can afford the high cost of safeguarding their data, Ohlhausen responded, “In the long run, NOT implementing reasonable data security can wind up costing small businesses even more.”

In response to a questioner wanting to know how to react when a company changed its privacy policy, Ohlhausen noted that the FTC requires companies to notify consumers if their personal information was going to be used in a different way. “If consumers object to the changed terms, “ she continued, “they can look for other products and services in the market that offer privacy terms they prefer.”

Indeed, the commissioner predicted that privacy terms may soon join product/service quality and pricing in the list of key purchase attributes. “It seems like companies are starting to compete on their privacy terms more frequently and I applaud this development,” she wrote.

As news broke that the National Security Agency was tapping into the data warehouses of Google and Yahoo, several questioners posed questions relating to the government's access to personally identifiable information. After qualifying that the FTC has jurisdiction over commercial privacy, not government privacy, Ohlhuasen added that “it's critical that policy makers act thoughtfully and appropriately to balance appropriate privacy concerns with the important job of protecting American citizens.”

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above