Acting FTC Chair Outlines Priorities

Much has been written about how changes at the top of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are going to impact the accounts receivable management industry, but there are two other government regulators that also police debt collectors — the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. And each of those agencies — like the CFPB — are currently being run by Acting Chairs. President Biden has yet to name his replacements to be the permanent Chairman or Chairwoman of either agency, so the Acting Chairs — Jessica Rosenworcel at the FCC and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter at the FTC — will be in place for the foreseeable future.

Slaughter gave a keynote address last week at the Future of Privacy Forum and while her remarks were not directly related to the debt collection industry, what she said should help paint a picture for the kind of FTC that the industry can expect while she is in charge. This is especially true because Slaughter started her remarks by outlining her priorities and the direction she would like the FTC to take while she is in charge.

While framing her comments about attempting to “curb abuses” in the privacy space, Slaughter posed three questions that she will be asking related to the FTC’s enforcement activities. Those questions are:

  • Are we doing everything we can to deter future violations, both by the particular company at issue and by others in the market?
  • Are we doing everything we can to help wronged consumers?
  • Are we using all the tools in the FTC’s toolbox to fully charge offenses and pursue misconduct?

“Two types of relief I want us to seek and believe we can achieve are meaningful disgorgement and effective consumer notice,” Slaughter said, according to a copy of her speech.

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