Litigation Associate Craig Hoffman’s remarks concerning the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) aim to have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulate voluntary codes of conduct for privacy appeared in Law360 (“DOC Privacy Codes Of Conduct Would Lack Teeth: Attys”) on August 8, 2011.
With rapidly-changing technology and a slow-moving Congress, it is clear why flexible codes of conduct are attractive. But many attorneys, including Hoffman, suggest that enforcing codes of conduct is potentially more difficult than enforcing privacy law, specifically because the FTC shoulders the burden of proving that a company violated the code and that it qualifies as deceptive trade practice.
According to Hoffman, who also edits the firm’s Data Privacy Monitor blog, the DOC’s efforts would likely result in multiple codes of conduct for different industry sectors, posing more of a burden for the FTC than an omnibus privacy law.
“There is a question about whether the FTC even has the staff and funding to enforce it,” he said.