FTC Announces Key Agenda Items for Upcoming Open Commission Meeting

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina M. Khan recently announced the tentative agenda for an upcoming open Commission meeting, set to take place virtually on Thursday, January 18, 2024. The meeting will cover crucial topics that could have significant implications for various sectors, particularly online privacy and auto retail.

One of the key items on the agenda includes proposed changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA Rule). The FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection staff will provide an overview of these changes, which are designed to enhance the protection of children’s online privacy. Notably, these changes may require a separate opt-in for targeted advertising, increase accountability for operators using the support for internal operations exception, impose limits on “nudging” children without parental consent, and strengthen data security and data retention requirements.

The importance of this discussion can’t be overstated. As our children spend more time online, whether for learning or entertainment, the need for robust privacy safeguards becomes increasingly critical. These proposed amendments to the COPPA Rule reflect a growing awareness of the unique vulnerabilities children face in the digital world and the responsibility of online platforms to mitigate these risks.

Also on the agenda is a presentation on the Combating Auto Retail Scams Rule (CARS Rule). Staff from the FTC’s Division of Financial Practices will outline the new rule, which aims to target bait-and-switch tactics and junk fees in the auto retail sector. Interestingly, the rule includes explicit protections for military members.

The auto retail industry has long been a source of consumer complaints, with issues ranging from deceptive advertising to unfair loan terms. The CARS Rule represents a concerted effort by the FTC to tackle these problems head-on, offering consumers, particularly military members, greater protection against unscrupulous practices.

The meeting will commence at 11 a.m. ET, beginning with an opportunity for members of the public to address the Commission. A link to the event will be available on the day of the event, shortly before the meeting starts via FTC.gov.

Each commenter will be given two minutes to share their comments. Those unable to attend the event in person can submit written comments or prerecorded videos. The event will be recorded and made available on the Commission’s website after the meeting.

As we anticipate this open Commission meeting, it’s clear that the FTC continues to prioritize key consumer protection issues. The proposed changes to the COPPA Rule and the introduction of the CARS Rule highlight the agency’s ongoing efforts to adapt and respond to the challenges of our digital age and complex consumer markets. As such, the outcomes of this meeting could have far-reaching implications for both consumers and businesses alike.

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