Microsoft breaks from IAB Lobby and supports a stronger FTC Consumer Protection Role

I asked both Google and Microsoft their position on proposed legislation that would enable the FTC to protect consumers.  Microsoft, to their credit, has taken a stand, even if it has a caveat.  Here’s what they wrote to me:

“…Microsoft has supported the expansion of FTC authority, including in our longtime support for comprehensive federal privacy legislation and in a recent legislative proposal on protecting consumers related to cloud computing, where we said that the FTC should play a key role.  In the current environment, there ought to be better alternatives to guide the marketplace than de facto rulemaking through enforcement activity.

It is our view that there is merit to having FTC rulemaking authority mirror that of other agencies — we favor increased certainty and the ability for comment on proposed rules that will impact our industry.  At the same time, the reasons the FTC’s existing mechanisms were put in place (as articulated in the industry letter you cite) should not be ignored.  Perhaps there is room for a balanced approach.”

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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