By mid-2012, the very nature of the digital economy was in the midst of a tectonic shift. A dominant business model for online companies was to provide free service to users in return for their information, which was used to attract advertisers, app makers and other business opportunities.
In meantime, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started increasing the pace and scope of its actions. It initiated swift action against some of the biggest social media companies and internet companies, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google, and recommended baseline privacy legislation and more stringent industry self-regulation.
The FTC and other regulators face the issue of balancing protecting the privacy of individual end users without stifling innovation in one of the brightest sectors of the economy. Should the regulators step in with binding regulations or should they trust the online industry to regulate itself? What amount of intervention is the right amount?
- Understand the general state of U.S. law on consumer data privacy, particularly in the online industry, and the current practices of online companies regarding customer data.
- Explore the ethical, legal, and business issues involved in providing a mobile app service that also gathers and uses customer data.
- Be able to discuss and assess various regulatory options (baseline privacy law, sector-specific laws, industry self-regulation, or some combination of these) to address the growing collection and use of consumer data in the online industry.
Cyberlaw, Government Law, Privacy and Consumer Data Law
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