Antitrust, UCL and Privacy

Competition: Spring 2014 Vol. 23, No. 1

Content

REGULATION OF COMPANIES’ DATA SECURITY PRACTICES UNDER THE FTC ACT AND CALIFORNIA UNFAIR COMPETITION LAW

By Kathryn F. Russo1

I. Introduction

News of data breaches dominates the headlines. Technology is advancing at a dizzying speed. Companies are collecting more sensitive personal information about consumers than ever before while hackers are devising new strategies to access this information.

In the context of this data-driven world, it is no surprise that companies’ data security practices are coming under increasingly strict scrutiny. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that approximately 7 percent of all U.S. residents age 16 or older were victims of identity theft in 2012.2 Both the Federal Trade Commission and the California Attorney General have made it a priority to pursue enforcement actions against companies that do not have reasonable data security practices.

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