FTC Hosts Eighth Annual PrivacyCon: What Can Businesses Expect in 2024?

March 15, 2024Articles

Recently, Dinsmore attorneys attended the Federal Trade Commission’s eighth annual PrivacyCon: a conference for regulators, researchers, industry representatives, consumer advocates and other stakeholders to gather and discuss trends in consumer privacy and data security. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal independent agency charged with regulating and enforcing anticompetitive, deceptive and unfair business practices. As a part of its mission, the FTC hosts PrivacyCon to communicate its priorities to the public while staying up-to-date on the most pressing issues.

Top authorities from the University of Michigan, Columbia Law School, University of Pennsylvania, Google and more presented research. These experts highlighted trends including:

  • The arrival of pay-or-consent-to-tracking schemes in the US;
  • The rise of Global Privacy Control requirements in state data protection statutes;
  • Data breaches and excessive collection practices caused by artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs);
  • The lack of adequate privacy policies among healthcare providers; and
  • How fraudsters can use deepfake images to facilitate phishing scams and falsify evidence, without reliable detectors to stop them.

Also in attendance were FTC Chair Lina Khan, Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya and a number of attorneys from the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. Among other goals, these regulators made clear that the FTC’s enforcement priorities in 2024 and beyond include:

  1. Further strengthening the FTC’s presumption that the sale of sensitive data is unlawful;
  2. Increased skepticism of indefinite or extended data retention;
  3. Reducing consumer data breach notice fatigue, and increasing consumer follow-through on post-breach remedies such as credit monitoring; and
  4. Reinforcing online privacy protections for teenagers, including a requirement that default privacy settings for minors be set to maximum strength.

Events like PrivacyCon are vital to Dinsmore’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice Group. They allow our team to stay on top of the latest trends and be proactive for our clients when it comes to what is next in the world of Privacy. Issues highlighted at PrivacyCon—in particular, the dangers presented to businesses by AI—will only gain momentum in the years to come. And the sooner businesses think about the FTC’s latest guidance and enforcement trends, the greater the advantage those businesses will have over competitors.