The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its 2019 Privacy and Data Security Update that highlighted “a record year for enforcement actions aimed at protecting consumer privacy and data security.”

FTC mentions its $5 billion fine given to Facebook for violating its 2012 FTC privacy order, which is the largest consumer privacy penalty to date. It also highlighted a “$170 million penalty levied against YouTube and Google for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

In addition to the privacy work, FTC reported making strides in data security during 2019. The agency wrote about the global settlement equaling up to $700 million with Equifax’s 2017 data breach.

“The FTC also continued its strong enforcement of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework by bringing 13 cases in 2019 against companies that allegedly made false promises related to the Privacy Shield,” FTC wrote.

Other actions in 2019 that FTC highlighted include:

  • Examining consumer privacy as part of the FTC’s Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century;
  • Its PrivacyCon event that showcases cutting-edge privacy research;
  • A COPPA Rule workshop; and
  • A workshop to examine consumer report accuracy.
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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.