FTC and Privacy / Advanced Privacy Topics

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the primary regulator of consumer information privacy in the United States. Its activities, often in the style of public settlement agreements with companies, form the most important regulation of information privacy. Since the agency’s wave of internet privacy cases in the 2000s, the practice of information privacy law has grown dramatically. The leading practice group for privacy law, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, founded in 2000, now has over 18,000 members.

The FTC has a colorful, 100-year history. It is a complex agency. Practice before the agency has suffered because of a lack of familiarity with the agency’s broad powers and diverse responsibilities in commerce. This seminar offers a deep dive into the agency’s history, procedure, and substance of its privacy law to prepare Berkeley students for sophisticated interactions with the FTC.

This course is jointly enrolled with the School of Information. Students will be expected to participate in seminar discussions, complete a group project, and a final paper. The group assignment will focus on analysis of some technology or business practice from several different perspectives (consumer advocacy group, trade association, a company, etc.). The final paper will analyze a policy issue for the FTC. This work should be 30 pages to satisfy the seminar requirement.