Tell the FTC: Stop Corporate Data Abuse

Companies record every aspect of our online activity—our messages with friends and family, browsing and purchase history, and where we go. While marginalized communities have felt the disproportionate impact of discriminatory data practices for years, the overturn of Roe v Wade has further exposed how much data companies have and how it can cause harm.

In August 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a rulemaking process to do something about this abuse. We know the companies that profit off our data will dispatch an army of lobbyists to argue for rules in their favor. But if enough of us mobilize we can demand the FTC protect our privacy, data, and lives.

Tell the FTC to rein in corporate surveillance and data abuses

Sign this petition to FTC Chair Lina Khan telling her to move forward the rulemaking process to rein in surveillance and data abuse by companies.

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The FTC rulemaking process launched on August 11, 2022. This opportunity to create policy to stop corporations and other commercial actors from abusing people’s personal data happened, in part, because of pressure from advocacy groups including Fight for the Future.

The FTC can use rulemaking to address “unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition” that have common occurrence. Through this process the FTC will hold hearings, gather feedback, and collect data (both qualitative and quantitative) to inform the final rule. Once the rule is finalized those who break it will face penalties.

FTC rulemaking is different from legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. The FTC is limited in what its rules can cover - the agency is tasked with protecting consumers and competition by “combating monopolies, false advertising, privacy invasions, scams, and other unfair or deceptive conduct, as well as by addressing unfair methods of competition.” Congress has the authority to pass legislation on any topic. However, both FTC rules and legislation passed by Congress are laws that include enforcement and punishment.

This is a 6-step process that starts with the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), which was published on Thursday, August 11, 2022. The goal of the ANPR (which you can read here) is to gather input on how the FTC should focus its rulemaking. Anyone can submit a comment weighing in. The ANPR comment deadline was November 21, 2022.

The next steps in the process are for the FTC to notify Congress if it decides to proceed with the proposed rulemaking, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) - when there will be another public comment period, Informal Hearings, Development and Publication of the Final Rule followed by Enforcement. There will be opportunities to engage throughout the process. The more the FTC hears from people who want the agency to stop commercial abuses, the more likely we are to get a strong rule. The FTC will also be hearing from corporations that don't want these regulations so it is critical we outweigh them.

This is a lengthy process with multiple opportunities to engage. Share your insights with the FTC through the petition above - add any personal experience you’ve had related to surveillance, data collection, and security online. Then share this page with your friends and family to help get more perspectives.

Thanks for signing the petition!

Please consider sharing this page with your friends and family.