Testimony and Filings

Comments filed with the Federal Trade Commission on “Workshop on Informational Injury”


The Commission is correct to focus on consumer injury because it is central to a rational privacy regime based on actual harms. Such a regime is most likely to help consumers.

The alternative, favored by many privacy advocates, is to prophylactically limit the collection, use, sharing, and retention of data in an attempt to protect consumers from hypothetical concerns about data being used in harmful ways. This is the approach taken by the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) dating back to the 1970s, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) Privacy Principles of 1980, and the FTC’s own 2012 privacy report. In a world of big data, however, where innovative new uses of data are unpredictable, the focus on data minimization has come to be seen as increasingly costly.