Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan is known as an antitrust cop who wants to break up technology conglomerates or prevent them from completing acquisitions. She also has a less-discussed, equally important goal: remaking how these companies and others collect and use data about U.S. consumers—and their own employees—in order to stop "harms that can result from commercial surveillance," as she put it recently.
But the FTC has experienced a series of delays in trying to enact new privacy rules. Over the past year, the FTC has delayed publicly kicking off the process at least two times, and finalized rules are likely years away. One of the holdups involved the draft of a document about the new rules the agency was preparing to publish. In addition, Khan also faces resistance from two Republican commissioners on the agency’s five-member leadership committee who want to slow her down.
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