FTC, Canadian Privacy Chiefs Pledge Continued Cooperation Under Trump

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By Daniel R. Stoller

International data security enforcement cooperation will continue under the Trump administration, the top U.S. and Canadian privacy regulators told Bloomberg BNA Dec 14.

Data security enforcement has been a top priority for privacy regulators across the globe. The growth of high-speed web access and the exploding internet of things have consumers sharing their data across borders at a heightened rate, necessitating the need for more vigilant international data security oversight and enforcement.

Data security enforcement requires “bipartisan support and must remain a top priority” for the incoming administration, U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in response to Bloomberg BNA’s questions during a press briefing.

Canada Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien agreed with Ramirez that data security is a main priority for regulators throughout 2017 and coming years. It is especially important worldwide for data security regulators “to continue to work together” no matter who is leading the country, he told Bloomberg BNA.

President-elect Donald Trump has favored public-private partnerships throughout the campaign season. As part of his cybersecurity platform, Trump would create a Cyber Review Team made up of public and private stakeholders to give national security policy recommendations.

The data security regulators held the press briefing to discuss a recent settlement with the operators of AshleyMadison.com—Avid Life Media Inc., now called Ruby Corp. The FTC settled with Ruby Corp. for $8.75 million, but as part of the settlement, Ruby will only have to pay $828,500 to the commission and an additional $828,500 to 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Trump’s Next Steps

Trump hasn’t delivered policy proposals on data security or offered who may be next in line to replace Edith Ramirez as FTC chairman. Ramirez hasn’t indicated when she may leave the post.

It is unknown if Trump will appoint a privacy and data security, consumer rights or antitrust specialist into that role. The president-elect may ask former FTC commissioner Joshua Wright, who is advising the Trump transition team on antitrust issues, to help decide appointments to the commission. Wright is an antitrust enforcement skeptic and earned a reputation as the FTC’s most conservative commissioner during his brief tenure there under President Barack Obama.

Additionally, Trump’s willingness to stir the pot in foreign policy may overwhelm international data security regulators who wish to work together to tackle data security issues. For example, Trump sparked an international firestorm after speaking with the president of Taiwan in an apparent deviation from the well-established One-China policy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dStoller@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

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