The gloves are off at the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC, an independent agency now chaired by one of President Biden’s appointees, is picking fights with Capitol Hill and Big Tech as it looks to assert its influence on crucial technology and privacy issues.
The regulator issued a warning this summer saying it would crack down on companies that misuse consumers’ data. Then last week it said it was “exploring rules to crack down on harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security.”
“I am concerned that the FTC has decided to move ahead with a far-reaching digital surveillance inquiry and rule-making crusade without waiting for the results of active discussions in Congress,” Mrs. Blackburn said in a statement last week. “Without guardrails set by Congress, this is doomed to become another cautionary tale of how the left uses the regulatory state to tear down and rebuild the economy according to their own vision.”
Lawmakers have worked in a bipartisan fashion on legislation that changes privacy and data security policy. The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bipartisan privacy bill in July by a vote of 53-2, though it appears unlikely to get a hearing in the Senate.